A STORY about a 28-year-old-man who was taken to hospital after being found unconscious in a Bradford street is the first Telegraph & Argus story set to be removed from specific Google searches under the controversial new ‘Right to be Forgotten’ laws.
The search engine notified Newsquest (Bradford), which publishes the T&A, of its intent to 'delete' the story from Google search results yesterday, but did not give reasons why.
The move follows a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling last month which says articles deemed irrelevant or out of date should be wiped from search engine results.
Google started to comply with the ruling yesterday.
The T&A story, published in July 2012, refers to a large police cordon which was set-up in Bradford city centre after the unnamed man was found injured in Manor Row, near its junction with Upper Piccadilly.
It is not known who has applied to Google to have the story removed.
Google has been asked by the T&A to explain its reasons for the removal.
The ruling only affects search engine companies like Google and does not have the power to order newspapers to remove stories, but by deleting a search listing it becomes harder for the public to find stories they are searching for.
The T&A's general policy is not to delete, amend or annotate our archives unless there is an inaccuracy and therefore the story still appears on our website.
Also, as the ruling only applies to Google's operations in Europe, people living elsewhere - can get simply just use the web address Google.com rather than Google.co.uk - to see the 'deleted' search results.
See the original story here: Police probe after man found injured in city centre
Critics have labelled the ruling by the ECJ as censorship which is open to abuse by criminals and the powerful who will try to hide information from the public.
T&A Editor Perry Austin-Clarke said the ECJ ruling was deeply flawed.
"It is, in reality, an assault on the public’s right to know perfectly legitimate information," he said.
“The problem is that it will be misused by criminals, politicians, celebrities and charlatans to stop the public learning inconvenient or embarrassing information.
“It is an attempt to re-write history. Nothing else, and you can’t just suddenly pretend an event has not happened.
“We often get complaints from convicted criminals that publishing stories about them invades their privacy or is unfair but the simple fact is if they didn’t go out committing crime and appearing in court then there would not be a story.
“We will resist this move to stop you, the public, knowing perfectly legitimate information about people.
“If anything, the Right to be Forgotten, as this ruling has been called, will really become the Right to Censorship."