The Mail declares that those who want to be erased from the Internet are all paedos and criminals. They were poised to declare that in very open terms. Don’t look at the headline, look at the link in the browser bar. That tells you what the original title was.
I expect quite a lot of them are indeed paedos and criminals. However, I expect most of them are just those who don’t want a prospective employer to find out about some drunken escapade, or non-approved political involvement, from a Farcebok page they created ten years ago and have long since abandoned.
I have no intention of asking Google to erase anything. For one thing, nothing actually gets erased at all. Google simply blocks any results from a search on you. It’s all still out there and those who want to find it will find it easily enough. The only ones who will not find it are the general computer users. Many of them actually believe that Google IS the internet. That’s like believing that the London telephone directory IS London.
Well, I had a look at the search results for my name. There are around 270 of me in the United States alone and that doesn’t count the ones I already know about in Canada and Australia and elswhere. Search on my name and there are about a thousand of me worldwide.
That search also threw up several alter egos (but not all of them). It found no Farcebok accounts. It did show up most of my books – and I want people to find those! No point in writing them and then hiding them from Internet searches. Sales are nowhere near enough to live on yet. I really don’t want to reduce them to zero.
One thing I found very satisfying is that many of my clones are Doctors (proper ones), some are medics, some are winning elections or running their own businesses. None are associated with any criminal activity. We’re either all goody-goodys or all very good at not getting caught, it seems.
If someone with my name decided to disappear, would Google also block my existence and all the rest with the same name too? If shady powers wanted me silenced, would they simply tell Google to block my name – and if questioned, just say that someone with the same name as me made the request?
The ruling only applies to Europe. Employers who have a decent IT staff will be searching for you through a proxy server outside Europe and will, in an instant, find all the stuff you so carefully hid from Google. A really good IT department will be able to write their own mini search engine and bypass all the controlled ones anyway. Or they will just go straight to Farcebok and Twitland and look for you there.
You might check and relax, believing that Google has erased your past indiscretions from the Internet but nothing has been erased. Your home computer can’t find it any more but it is all still out there and anyone who wants to know will find it. It just means you can’t easily find all those things yourself and erase them properly.
All those paedos and other criminals are wasting their time. So their past does not show up on next door’s computer – so what? An employer running a CRB check will still find it all. Anyone using a US-based proxy will find it all. Your ‘right to be forgotten’ is a trivial illusion and achieves nothing at all.
Nothing at all for you, that is. For a Government bent on Internet censorship it achieves a lot.
It achieves that dream of Orwell’s in which anyone can be erased from history and turned into an unperson. Instead of having offices full of people cutting pictures out of archived newspapers, all it now takes is a quick phone call to Google and you’re gone. Never existed. An embarrassing electoral loss for the government? Didn’t happen. Prime Monster stays on holiday while Tottenham riots? Nonsense. As far as the average home computer user will know, those things – and you – are just urban legends. There is no evidence of them anywhere on the Internet so they cannot be real.
Will Google comply with such requests from a crooked government? Mention that small matter of a massive tax bill and I think they will, you know.
There is a generation now who have replaced their brains with iPhones. They don’t bother learning or remembering anything since all they have to do is look it up on Google.
If it’s not in there, it’s not real.