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Hidden From Google looks to preserve links censored over 'right to be forgotten'

Hidden From Google looks to preserve links censored over 'right to be forgotten'

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A new website is attempting to build a list of search results that have been hidden as a direct result of the EU's controversial "right to be forgotten" law. "This list is a way of archiving the actions of censorship on the Internet," reads the about section at Hidden From Google. "It is up to the reader to decide whether our liberties are being upheld or violated by the recent rulings by the EU." Alongside the relevant search term, you'll find the specific link that was removed from Google's search results. The site's log is based entirely on news stories that have mentioned censored search terms; there's no direct affiliation with Google or any other search provider.

As a result, this won't ever be a live, up-to-date list of vanishing search results. Far from it. There are only nine items so far — several of them are listed as "unknown" — and Google has already been bombarded with over 70,000 takedown requests since May. Microsoft has also now bowed to the ruling. It's hard to imagine how anyone could ever keep up with a record of what's disappearing. Hidden From Google is also careful to note that just because someone's name appears in the list doesn't necessarily mean that person requested the censorship. "It only lists terms which have, at a given time, been censored on a Google EU domain."

But even if it won't ever be a comprehensive list (or anything close to one), Hidden From Google is evidence that there's very real disappointment with and resentment towards the right to be forgotten decision. We can't imagine it mattering to anyone that's successfully forced Google to hide an embarrassing link. They're only concerned with preventing the content in question from popping up in a quick Google query. But it's a statement all the same.