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August 4, 2014

Google set to hide Wikipedia links in search

The ‘right to be forgotten’ is affecting the free encyclopaedia.

By CBR Staff Writer

In the latest effort under the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) ‘right to be forgotten‘ legislation, Google is all set to limit search terms to a link headed for a Wikipedia article.

With the identity of the individuals seeking the modification to Google’s search results yet to be revealed, the request is on its way to get into effect within days.

However, Google and other search engines can only do away with the link, while the web page will remain on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales told the Guardian: "In the case of truthful, non-defamatory information obtained legally, I think there is no possibility of any defensible ‘right’ to censor what other people are saying.

"You do not have a right to use the law to prevent Wikipedia editors from writing truthful information, nor do you have a right to use the law to prevent Google from publishing truthful information.

"Wikipedia can and should work hard to do a good job, just as Google can and should work hard to do a good job."

Since the ECJ’s decision in May, citizens are allowed to ask search engines to remove certain links from results for a search made with their name, if the data had been considered to be obsolete, no longer relevant or excessive.

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Google has already started implementing the legislation, with several thousands of links removed from its European search results to websites ranging from the BBC to the Daily Express.

Last week, Google noted that majority of demands for changes to search results are made by France, with 17,500 requests, compared to other European nation, followed by Germany (16,500), the UK (12,000), Spain (8,000), Italy (7,500), and the Netherlands (5,500).

However, the EU legislation is not aimed at dealing with false information, with several of the links eliminated so far are related to truthful news articles.

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