Hide misdeeds from Google searches
There is a massive amount of information available online and it is continuing to grow every day. Since it is virtually impossible to create an exhaustive directory of the Internet, we rely on search engines to help us find the information we need. We use tools like Google to learn about the world. However, we should also remember that the world can use search engines to learn more about us. What people see when they type our names can affect our lives in both positive and negative ways. Many argue that it should be possible to hide misdeeds from Google searches.
There is currently a law in the European Union called the “right to be forgotten”. Similar legal efforts are being undertaken all over the world with varying levels of success. It is not easy as many would hope as legislators need to balance the individual’s right to privacy and the public’s right to know. Even in places where the law is in place, people can only request for links in search results to be taken down. The original content will still be out there somewhere, just a bit more difficult to find. There are also strict criteria that one must pass in order to get requests to be approved.
Recently, an EU court ruled that the right to be forgotten is limited to its borders. This is a victory for Google as it means that the link takedowns do not have to be enforced elsewhere. It is also possible to deny requests if the information is essential for the public’s interest. According to the company, it has received about 655,000 requests by early 2018 to de-list as many as 2.5 million links from its search results. So far it has approved 40% of the link takedowns. Below are some of the reasons why a person might want to hide misdeeds from Google:
- Job Application
The information could prevent them from getting accepted at companies where they filed their job applications. It is a well-known practice among hiring managers to do an online background check of their applicants. If a person did questionable things in his youth, then he might have a hard time convincing employers to take a chance on him despite his qualifications. The fact that he may have reformed since then may not even make a difference. Those making the evaluation may be put off by party antics or other unsavory behavior and drop the application at once. This can have profound implications for a person’s future.
Extremely personal information may have been published online without the consent of an individual. This may affect his privacy or even security if it continues to be easily searchable. For example, this could be the exact home address of a person or details about his assets in several different places. It could be confidential information that can lead to identity theft such as social security numbers, phone numbers, and birth dates. Someone else might have posted bank account numbers, credit card information, loan details, daily schedule, work information, or even passwords. Tracking a person’s geographic location at all times would also be extremely unsettling. People would probably like to keep their financial missteps to themselves and relevant parties instead of broadcasting them to the whole world.
Even if someone has done misdeeds in the past, there might already be some form of rectification for those. Most people would want to move on from the negative aspects of their personal history. They would like to forget these so that it does not weigh them down. They might want to learn the vital lessons but they want to put the rest behind them so that they can move forward. After a few years, they should be able to achieve normalcy in their lives instead of having to be reminded of the past or having to answer inquiries from those who have just made the discovery online.
A person’s reputation can be tarnished by a misdeed for a long time. This could be in a personal or professional capacity. It may also be argued that professional mistakes are vital information that should be available to the public. For example, a doctor that has performed botched surgeries on several occasions should be known to the public as such. This information would give patients the ability to make the best decisions for their own well-being, such as whether to let this doctor operate on them or not. On the other hand, some people may already be acquitted from lawsuits and do not deserve to be hounded for accusations that were already proven to be false.
- Personal Attacks
Misdeeds can result in personal attacks that can put an individual and his family in danger. This can be unfair, especially in cases that have long been resolved and the person is no longer doing any policy violations. Reminding them of past misdeeds is tantamount to casting doubt on current actions. It accuses people of bad faith based on the past and turning a blind eye to the good deeds since then. Although old behavior may be considered when evaluating repetitive issues, sometimes people simply like to bring up past mistakes to hurt others. Any disputes should look into the present facts instead of ancient and often irrelevant history.
- Inaccurate Information
Things can change fast in this modern world, yet things published online can stay as they are for all eternity. Obsolete information can hurt an individual in different ways. This is unfortunate as the problems are coming from details that are often inaccurate or flat-out wrong. Many feel that pages carrying such unreliable info should be deleted from search engine results to minimize their impact on the present and future.
Controversies Regarding Deletion
Some people have not stopped at trying to hide certain pages from Google searches. They have gone after actual online posts and had them deleted. Famous examples can be found on Gawker Media sites. The company got into trouble due to expensive lawsuits that eventually led to its sale. After the change in ownership, some posts were removed by the new owners. These posts were all subjects of defamation lawsuits. According to Politico.com, they were replaced by a brief note about unavailability due to pending litigation. Then there was the NYtimes scandal of the reporter and the allegations to hide their misdeeds from Google searches. No matter what it is we can help you fix your online reputation with our companies help.
The Internet is only a few decades old and many of the issues that arose because of its accessibility are yet to be resolved. Balancing the interests of the individual and the public requires careful study of each case, as well as the legal limits that should be imposed on relevant parties.