Either the "right to be forgotten" will be... forgotten by practical European Union members, or "journalism" will be forgotten in the EU. It's steel cage time, two competing ideals enter, only one can leave.

And the referee is Google.

Google is giving the first, dystopian looks at what will happen to online journalism under the European Court of Justice's new rules allowing Europeans to petition Google to have embarrassing but true information about them scrubbed from the internet. Google informed The Guardian that six of their articles from 2010 had been taken down off of Google's search engine.


You can still find the Guardian articles... perhaps at your local library in their extensive microfiche catalogs. But if you are in Europe and you Google, Dougie McDonald - a disgraced soccer referee — all you're likely to find are stories about how great he is.

The Guardian is of course crying bloody murder, and they should, and Google almost certainly wants them too. I imagine that the Google letter to the Guardian informing them of this included the phrase "are you not entertained?" But this is what happens when Courts make terrible rulings. This is what happens when judges who don't understand the technology attempt to control it. This is what happens, Larry.

The only way out is through. Google has to keep doing this, they have to make it hurt before the idiot lawmakers will do anything about it. Wait 'till somebody hires a pedophile nanny whose conviction was "forgotten" under this standard. Wait 'till somebody hires a CFO with a disappeared history of tax fraud. Wait 'till the Neo-Nazis petition Google to "forget"... pretty much everything. The right to be forgotten is in direct conflict with a free press and an open exchange of ideas.


Google, for what it's worth, is going to have to be willing to risk its business model to fight this. Already, people are calling for the use of search engines with a lower "EU footprint" in order to get "complete" results. Google is going to have to stop giving its European customers what they want in order to get lawmakers to see what they've lost.

It's a tough road. Some laws are so morally reprehensible that people of conscience must disobey. But this law is so stupid that the only recourse is to follow it to its logical, reprehensible end.