- June 17, 2014
-- Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson is taking up the charge to bring the "right to be forgotten" law to the United States. In England, a recent ruling by a judge brought about the first major change to Google's algorithm with regards to removal of content, known as the "right to be forgotten." What the law states is that an English citizen has the right to etition Google to remove information from its index that is false, outdated or irrelevant. This gave thousands of residents of the UK the ability to have information about them which is indexed on Google removed, as long as they can state reasoning that proves that the information is within the guidelines. This provokes the question, why is Google allowed to be the catalist for false information spread in all other countries as well? Do citizens not have the right to remove information that is slanderous? Lord Neil Gibson successfuly used the United States court system to remove several websites that were linked to a business rival and which were spreading falsified information, so why can he not use this same right to petition Google in the United States to de-index additional information that cannot be traced directly back to a specific author?
With "false news" squarely in the headlights of the discussion, Google has had to recognize that providing the exposure mechanism for peopel to spread false information about other people disguised as news makes them part of the problem. There is no way to completely stop everyone from speaking poorly of each other, but the ability to generate a situaltion where the false information looks true, like creating a website that appears to have it's source as the person being defamed, should not be allowed. Through an easy manipulation of text and links, anyone can create a website that appears to be legitimate and yet spreads completely inaccurate information, and Google being used as the transfer mechanizm so that people are duped into believing the information on that site as the truth brings Google into the conversation with regards to fault. A person can sue another person for defamation, so why can they not also bring the publicity source into question as aiding in the defamation as well? Lord Neil Gibson plans to exercise his rights to have this argument heard in all countries where Google has a reach and lets itself be used to spread lies.
Is Google responsible for Lord Neil Gibson's issues regarding false news about him online? The answer remains to be seen, but Gibson himself plans to take the charge up to rid the internet of false information, starting with his own.