Facebook et al getting swamped with right-to-be-forgotten requests

25 Nov 2015

Google has released its latest transparency report highlighting the number of right-to-be-forgotten requests it has received this year, and it’s clear Facebook, Twitter et al are being hit hard.

It’s been over a year since Google was forced to act and introduce the right-to-be-forgotten request function for its services, allowing anyone to apply to have their name removed from a website or service, but applicants will only be successful if it is deemed not in the public interest or record.

In the name of transparency, Google has again released a report charting the number of applications it had from individual nations, which only last July showed that it had been asked to remove more than 1m links by internet users.

The annual number of Google search results removals now totals 1,234,092 URLs from 348,085 requests.

Of the total requests made to Google, the company says that 58pc of the URLs challenged were not removed.

Right to be forgotten chart

Interestingly, Google has laid out the websites in Europe that have been referenced the most in right-to-be-forgotten applications, and it appears that social media remains the main target for applicants.

By far, Facebook has seen the most requests in 2015 so far, with a total of 10,220 URLs removed from the social network, while Google’s search engine, Google+, and YouTube are also in the top 6.

Second behind Facebook, however, is a site that is not widely advertised or well-documented in the media, that being profileengine.com, which trawls the internet to find profiles of people with a name entered into a search engine, with a total of 7,986 URLs removed.

Looking at nations once again, Ireland submitted just under 10,000 URL removal requests – 9,891 – with only 3,266 requests being granted, marking a dismissal percentage of 67pc.

Google headquarters image via Asif Islam/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic