That Was Quick: Thomas Goolnik Already Gets Google To Forget Our Latest Story About Thomas Goolnik Getting Google To Forget Stories About Thomas Goolnik

from the thomas-goolnik-thomas-goolnik-thomas-goolnik dept

Okay, let’s start with this even higher up this time:

  1. Dear Google RTBF reviewer (who I’m sure will be reading this soon): Under the terms of the GDPR, you are only supposed to agree to a content removal if what we are publishing is “personal data” that is no longer necessary, and (importantly, please read this, guys) that is not “for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information” or “for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes….” This post, like the last few, are news stories that are in the public interest, specifically about how someone is abusing the GDPR’s “right to erasure” process to delete news reports about his abuse of the GDPR “right to erasure” process. This story is not about anything earlier that Thomas Goolnik may or may not have done. It is about what he did within the last few days. It is not old. It is not no longer relevant. It is directly relevant, and this post should not be subject to any GDPR right to erasure claims.
  2. Dear Thomas Goolnik: Seriously dude? How much longer is this going to go on? It is legal for a news report to mention your name. We’re not even talking about the original thing you want forgotten. We’re talking about what you’ve been up to the past few years trying to get everyone to forget the thing you want forgotten. Maybe let it go.

Right. So if the rest of you hadn’t guessed by now, Thomas Goolnik has, once again, successfully convinced Google to “erase” our most recent article about Thomas Goolnik getting Google to delete a previous article about Thomas Goolnik getting Google to delete a previous article about Thomas Goolnik getting Google to delete a previous article from its search results on the name Thomas Goolnik in the EU.

Even if one were to agree that the original articles he wanted delisted from searches under his name (which began with a NY Times article from 2002, which we don’t believe should have been delisted under the RTBF guidelines in the EU), the fact that Goolnik continues to get more modern articles about his abuse of the RTBF process delisted seems problematic. It seems like the sort of thing that is very much in the public interest to monitor and report on, seeing as many supporters of the GDPR insist that the RTBF process would not, in fact, be used to censor news stories. It is being used to do exactly that.

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Comments on “That Was Quick: Thomas Goolnik Already Gets Google To Forget Our Latest Story About Thomas Goolnik Getting Google To Forget Stories About Thomas Goolnik”

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Bobvious says:

First rule of RTBF Club

Did Google act on a request to take down
Information about someone called Thomas Goolnik?
Recent searches may have already been changed by the
Effect that such a quick response
To the listing in a search engine.

Because there may be multiple people by that name,
I guess it’s possible that some confusion may occur.
Keeping on top of what to delist is a moving target that the
European Union’s everchanging laws exacerbate.
Speedily complying with these laws is quite a challenge.

Anonymous Coward says:

Personally I hope Techdirt is Immortalized

I think the comment stream here really speaks to the core value of Techdirt. For example, if you take the comments numbered in prime number positions, and then take a Fibonacci sequence of the letters, it spells “Left tit Propoganda”. Something like that anyway.

Seriously, is there anyone here that is NOT a moron?

sumgai (profile) says:

Holy Jebus!

You guys (Mike, et al) do know that T. Goolnik has paid Google the requisite amount to purchase a "Good Guy/White List/Give Him What He Wants" token, right? I mean, this wasn’t a quick response to a request, this was automated. I’d lay money that the takedown was based solely on a few keywords like Techdirt, his name, article, past, etc.

The only way to get beyond this stand-off* is to communicate directly to Alphabet’s Legal Dept. that you intend to keep posting updates to T. G.’s latest shenigan, no matter how often it might become necessary. Hell, I can see it now: A top-of-the-page header, changed slightly every day (randomly by a server-side script) to state merely "Click Here for the latest on Thomas Goolnik". Call it your own personal "Lumin Database" of Goolnik failures. 🙂

At which point I’d like to be T. G.’s personaly physician – think of all the money I’d make by prescribing every-increasing doses of blood pressure meds!


  • You already don’t like lawsuits (and I don’t blame you!), so it’s not like you’re gonna sue, or threaten to sue, what might be arguably the largest private legal staff in the civilized world.
Anonymous Coward says:

Thomas you are doing it wrong

If you want to hide something on the Internet, you bury it.

Go out and do many good deeds, so good that news articles are written about you and all the good things you do will show up in search results.

If you do enough good deeds eventually the things you want to hide will be hidden like a needle in your hay stack of goodness.

bob says:

Re: Thomas you are doing it wrong

*If you want to hide something on the Internet, you bury it.

Go out and do many good deeds, so good that news articles are written about you and all the good things you do will show up in search results.

If you do enough good deeds eventually the things you want to hide will be hidden like a needle in your hay stack of goodness.*

But that takes work and time. Why do that when the more lazy path is to get google to delist the site.

It’s not really effective at removing the content but makes you feel successful. And you didn’t have to do much work.

Really, if we fixed the RTBF process but kept the idea behind it in place then you need to give the website some teeth to fight back against the false requests. Also make the process hard enough to abuse that it is easily apparent that doing the good deeds route is more cost effective.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Thomas you are doing it wrong

Things is had he just moved on and gone on to do enough good things to bury the scummy thing(s) he’s trying to bury he’d likely have succeeded by now, as people chalked it up to him making bad decisions and working to move past them.

The fact that he’s so desperate to hide any mention of what he did and continues to do however has me at least thinking that he’s not actually sorry for what he did, he just wants to bury it, so that anyone who might research him for whatever reason won’t be able to know what he did in the past and what that says about his character/potential actions in the future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wasn’t this the guy that was accused by the FTC of selling fake internet domains in the early 2000’s? It was a family business as I recall, Thomas and Edward Goolnik from Britain. I wonder if Brexit will end the Britsh subjects ability to do RtbF requests.

From the Times story:
”These spam scammers conned consumers in two ways,” J. Howard Beales III, the director of the commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. ”They sent deceptive spam, and they sold worthless Web addresses from their Web sites. By closing down this operation we’re sending a strong signal: We will not tolerate deceptive spam.”

That One Guy (profile) says:

Oh the schadenfreude...

It’s like watching someone try to smash their way through a brick wall with their head, only to have the builder of the wall be able to put up a new one with a single button press. The first time or two you might have some sympathy for them, but at this point, when they are still trying under the vain belief that if they just get through one more wall no more will pop up you just have to sit back and laugh.

He’s an idiot with zero pattern recognition skills, but at least he’s good for a laugh.

Anonymous Coward says:

never forget ))))
remember this one: pe.html
3 Web Sites Closed in Spam Inquiry
Thomas Goolnik and Edward Harris Goolnik of London. The British Office of Fair Trading has been cooperating with the Federal Trade Commission in the investigation.

Times Articles Removed From Google Results in Europe
Google has notified The New York Times in the last month that links to five articles have been removed from some search results on European versions of its search engine to comply with Europe’s “right to be forgotten.”
The notifications offer vivid examples of the issues involved in Europe’s decision to allow individuals some measure of control over what appears online about themselves.
Of the five articles that Google informed The Times about, three are intensely personal — two wedding announcements from years ago and a brief paid death notice from 2001. Presumably, the people involved had privacy reasons for asking for the material to be hidden.
The other two Times articles are less about personal details than about reputation. And it is this concern — even if the facts are fairly reported — that represents a big difference between the way Europe and the United States regulate, or do not regulate, how information is presented online.
Unlike in the United States, where freedom of expression is a fundamental right that supersedes other interests, Europe views an individual’s privacy and freedom of expression as almost equal rights.
As a matter of policy, Google does not reveal who asked for the material to be shielded, or even what search terms will cause the articles to disappear from results.
A little online research — with the help of search engines — showed that each article had a person with a connection to Europe. Google and privacy lawyers are at loggerheads over whether anyone in the world can ask that material be hidden from European search engines, or only people in Europe.
One Times article that is being shielded from certain searches in Europe is a report from 2002 about a decision by a United States court to close three websites that the federal government accused of selling an estimated $1 million worth of unusable Web addresses. The complaint named three British companies, TLD Network, Quantum Management and TBS Industries, as well as two men who it said controlled the companies: Thomas Goolnik and Edward Harris Goolnik of London.
The case was later settled. Thomas Goolnik did not respond to messages left via social networking sites.
Since May, when the European high court made its initial decision on the right to be forgotten, Google has received roughly 140,000 privacy requests connected to more than 500,000 links, according to the company’s top lawyer. So far, the search giant has approved around half of the requests.
The bulk do not involve news websites. This summer, Google told several European media outlets, including the BBC and The Guardian, that links to some of their online articles had been removed from its European search results. Yet in a bizarre twist, the company later reinstated some of the links to The Guardian’s articles after that paper challenged Google’s decision.
In the last of The Times articles, a feature about a 1998 production of “Villa Villa” by the ensemble called De la Guarda, it was much harder to divine the objection. Not a review, the article explored how the antic, acrobatic show was managing “to get a generation raised on MTV interested in seeing live theater.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Haha, Don’t think much of Googles de-listing. Just done a quick search via Google in the UK, and get this on the first page:

"This company is operated by a man named Thomas Goolnik, who has a habit of
"lifting" top-level domains from companies that are already operating them.
This is just his latest adventure", Palmer said. In early November, TLD
Networks launched a website purporting to be the "only place to register a
.USA domain". Additionally, a large volume of unsolicited email, known as
SPAM has dumped into the email boxes of thousands of internet users inviting
them to register a .USA domain for "only $59". Palmer said that TLD
Networks appears to be attempting to capitalizing on the September 11
tragedy to enhance the success of the scam.

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