We get angry requests every so often, demanding that this or that comment be removed from Techdirt because someone doesn't like the content of the comment. However, unless the content is illegal, there is no obligation to remove that content. Unfortunately, many people don't see it that way. They seem to think that, if they don't like any particular content (especially when it has to do with them specifically), it must be removed. Unfortunately, it seems that those who should know better are perpetrating this myth. I recently came across an "advice" column in the UK where a young girl asks the columnist what she should do
about an embarrassing photo of her found online, and the columnist responds:
YOU can email YouTube or wherever the photograph appeared and ask them to remove it, which they are obliged to do.
Of course, beyond the fact that YouTube hosts videos, not photos, this advice is simply incorrect. The site is under no obligation to remove the photo unless it's a copyright violation -- and since the girl did not take the photo, she doesn't own the copyright on it. Sure, perhaps it's too much to expect an advice columnist to understand such things, but this is how these myths continue to live on, when supposedly knowledgeable people give advice that is completely false.