Is Google's 'right to be forgotten' a gag order for the media?
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The internet is awash with cries of censorship, and search engine giants Google have found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Why? Well, the European Court of Justice ruled in May that Google must comply with requests for old or irrelevant information that can be dragged up in a Google search to be removed. This somewhat strange ruling stems from a case brought by a Spanish gentleman named Mario Costeja González, who claimed that his life was being affected by an article written sixteen years ago. He was concerned that one of the first hits upon Googling his own name was an article from 1998 - a mere 36 words long - which noted that he had run into some money troubles and his home was being repossessed to cover his debt. Fair enough. Luckily for Costeja González, the European court agreed. They believed that even though the Spanish newspaper who published the ludicrously short article were acting in the public interest, being able to so easily access the piece nearly two decades later was an infringement on Costeja González's privacy and he had the right to request its removal. Job done. Sadly for Costeja González, the implications of such a hard ruling, paired with the infamous 'right to be forgotten', means Costeja González will go down in history. His name and his money troubles have been written about by hundreds of publications in connection with this apparently controversial ruling. He will never be forgotten.
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