Thomas Goolnik Really Wants To Be Forgotten: Google Disappears Our Post About His Right To Be Forgotten Request

from the we-await-next-week's-notification dept

Last week we wrote about receiving our very first Right To Be Forgotten notice from Google, disappearing an earlier post that talked about articles in the NY Times that had been disappeared thanks to other RTBF requests. Yes, someone used a RTBF request to remove our article about the RTBF which was referencing other articles that someone had removed via a RTBF request.

And... yesterday we received a notification that this new article was also chucked down the memory hole thanks to a RTBF request, so that anyone who searches on a particular name in Europe will no longer see that article either. At this point, it's fairly clear that it's Thomas Goolnik who is making all of these RTBF requests, as he's the only individual named. We don't think either of our articles should be removed even under the EU's laws that allow for a RTBF, because those laws only apply to out of date/irrelevant information, and the fact that Goolnik has just now made a RTBF request in an attempt to censor us and to edit his own Google results is not obsolete information and is entirely relevant and newsworthy.

I figure it's highly likely that it won't be long before we get a notice telling us that this article, too, has been removed, so I'd like to add a special note to the Google RTBF reviewer reading this post: We are purposely not mentioning the details of the original story that Thomas Goolnik would no longer like to be associated with. Even if you believe that information is no longer relevant, this article does not discuss that. Instead, it discusses newsworthy and relevant information about Thomas Goolnik today, which is that he's filing a series of right to be forgotten requests to Google on any story that mentions his attempts to use the RTBF to delete his history. The original EU ruling clearly states that that when a search engine is evaluating a RTBF request, that it should see if the data is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed." This is not about irrelevant information from the past. This is about what appears to have happened this week or last.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 9:44am

    Another special note to the Google RTBF reviewer:

    It's, like, totally cray-cray just how much your job is analogous to the memory-hole incinerator in Orwell's 1984. Just sayin', yo....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:01am

    Even being terrible, the initial purpose of the right to be forgotten rules were for out of date/irrelevant information so it couldn't be THAT bad for current news but now we are finding out that "irrelevant" actually means "things somebody believe to be irrelevant" thus making those rules a whole world worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:36pm

      Re:

      I think it doesn't really matter what irrelevant means to any party involved, because I doubt Google wants to be the one defending their position on that. So they just accept the requests and censor their results.
      I know I'd do that instead of wasting money reviewing these things.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:11am

    Hey, Thomas Goolnik, Google is not the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:12am

    Wanting to be forgotten

    Didn't Barbara Streisand's House also want to be forgotten? (Although humans must have acted on its behalf to assist its efforts.)

    Will Thomas Goolnik do better than a house with human assistance could do at being forgotten?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:13am

    Put "Thomas Goolnik+" onto Bitcoin blockchain

    Let's see how the RTBF crowd handles that!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:15am

    Lessons from George Orwell's 1984

    All supporters of RTBF (Right To Be Forgotten).

    You really need to learn the lessons of history from George Orwell's 1984.

    When the Ministry of Truth wanted to make something, or someone be forgotten -- they did it! You need to adopt their tactics. Then everyone will be happy. (Because you tell them that they are happy.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:17am

    I never heard of him before now

    What does this guy want me to forget? Let me Google him to find out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      scotts13 (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:47am

      Re: I never heard of him before now

      Better still, Bing or Yahoo him - since we know Google is now incomplete and unreliable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:11pm

      Re: I never heard of him before now

      DuckDuckGo in the UK, puts the Techdirt articles at the top of the search, but within the first page it becomes obvious someone wants the world to forget that he settled with the FTC for selling domain names that only worked for people who installed software to use an alternative domain name system. One wonders what his next business idea is?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 5:17pm

        Re: Re: I never heard of him before now

        via duckduckgo wikipedia entry:

        DuckDuckGo emphasizes getting information from the best sources rather than the most sources, generating its search results from key crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia and from partnerships with other search engines like Yandex, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yummly.[5][6]

        DuckDuckGo is built primarily upon search APIs from various vendors. Because of this, TechCrunch characterized the service as a "hybrid" search engine.[20][21] At the same time, it produces its own content pages, and thus is similar to Mahalo, Kosmix and SearchMe.[22]

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:26am

    I'm sorry, I just have to let you know that your sub-header absolutely killed me. Almost snorted my drink out my nose. Got my coworkers suspicious that I wasn't actually working (I wasn't).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TMC, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:28am

    Dear Techdirt: could you do this all day? I feel like you should do this all day, every day, until the end of days... you know, when your nested story about a story times a trillion causes a singularity to develop, absorbing all space and time.

    Thank you, fuckwit Euro courts!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:09am

      Re:

      I like that idea.

      Make a bot that is triggered by googles notification that a page was forgotten. When triggered it auto publishes two new articles that links to the forgotten article.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:31am

    You're completely committed to being an assbag your whole life, aren't you Masnick?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      Hehehe, and you come here to comment on his blog.

      Good one, douche canoe, your ship of failure sets sail at sunrise.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:09am

      Assbaggery

      Pro-tip: Calling someone an assbag (or whatever) doesn't contribute to the conversation and just gets you reported.

      Actually going into details re: And this is why what you're doing is assbaggery and you shouldn't actually contributes.

      Bonus: Try doing that without the name-calling and you may find yourself taken entirely more seriously.

      Or maybe you get jollies from just calling people names to the point that no-one takes you seriously at all. In which case, carry on.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:11pm

      Re:

      Is that you Thomas?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 6:32pm

      Re:

      Not everyone is an assbag like you, average_joe.

      You tell your wife about your Ashley Madison account dedicated to Masnick yet, or are you waiting for the hackers to tell her instead?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Fred, 5 Sep 2015 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      I really don't know why this troll even bothers, knowing full well he/she/it will be voted down and made a laughing stock. Insulting language is really scraping the barrel and normally shows a distinct lack of intelligence with the perpetrator having nothing constructive to say or offer. Suggest the person concerned flushes themselves down the nearest toilet at the earliest opportunity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:46am

    Open Letter

    Thomas,

    You will not be forgotten.

    Sincerely,
    The World

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:50am

    "disappeared", "Chunked down the memory hole", "removed". It would be nice if you at least included the disclaimer from last time:

    "it's important to note that the stories themselves aren't erased from Google's index entirely -- they just won't show up when someone searches on the particular name of the person who complained."

    Cut down on the hyperbole.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:03am

      Re:

      Hyperbole? So let's suppose you are hiring someone to work in your house and you are in Europe. Then you decide to check if that person ha any presence online, if they are clean. You know, just in case. Then you get no meaningful results not because there is nothing to see but because that convicted murderer paid his/her time in jail and got out. Sure everybody deserves a second chance but would you like to be in that type of situation?

      Or worse yet, the person is in a lawsuit as the defendant against whatever crime but the courts find the stories about it to be irrelevant to the greater good (you know, minor charges and so on or it's in another continent, you pick the reason). Is it fair in any way?

      I can hardly see any hyperbole here. RTBF are a complete travesty, an Orwellian one and should be reported and kept under fire.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re:

        The article is making it sound like the article is not available from Google EU at all, which it is. That's what i call hyperbole.
        I am not defending the RTBF itself.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The article is making it sound like the article is not available from Google EU at all

          So what? There's already been attempts to force Google to adjust their search results worldwide.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John85851 (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:15pm

        Re: Re:

        If you know Google is acting on RTBF notices, why would you use Google to search for a potential employee? Just do what a commenter above did and use Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, or even AltaVista.

        It still blows my mind that the RTBF only affects ONE search engine rather than disappearing the actual source of the information.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Considering one actual source of the information is the FTC website, getting it to disappear could be rather tricky and involve a declaration of war (or the US doing yet another unconstitutional maneuver and removing findings of fact).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:52am

    I wish you'd forget this particular silliness,

    but you obviously delight in it and have nothing important, so intend to cause more. Sheesh.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:54am

      Re: I wish you'd forget this particular silliness,

      Is that you Thomas?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:20am

      Re: I wish you'd forget this particular silliness,

      Actually, I had forgotten about this, but then Thomas 'derp' Goolnik got Google to 'forget' about Thomas 'derp' Goolnik. Techdirt noticed that Google 'forgot' about Thomas 'derp' Goolnik whom Thomas 'derp' Goolnik apparently defrauded some people. Then I remembered Thomas 'derp' Goolnik.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 7:35pm

      Yes, I bet you do

      Someone trying, and failing hilariously, to re-write history is, and always will be, worthy of notice.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:54am

    Come on. Sing along...You know the chorus....

    "Things!.. Things can only get meta...can only get meta
    can only get, can only get, Things can only get meta, baby"

    :Repeat

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jollygreengiant (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:05am

    So amusing that three of the top five results for him on duckduckgo are Techdirt articles. The other two are the FTC page detailing a complaint regarding a scamming company and a linkedin page. I won't mention what the other links lead to, but no wonder Thomas Goolnik wants his history erased.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:57pm

      Re:

      What I find intriguing is that the FTC page is available in the UK on google.co.uk. And it's on the first page of results.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:14am

    So when/if these ne'er-do-well's violate the law again, does this mean one has standing to pursue the EU?

    While allowing people to rebuild after past bad acts, it does seem to allow them to easily white wash their past misdeeds and sets others up to be harmed even if they attempt due diligence in researching someone they are dealing with.

    If the EU actively allows criminals to hide their history making it easier for them to target new victims one should hold them responsible.

    While one can hold up a noble goal of helping someone who did something stupid once reclaim their life, the flipside is this allows criminals to keep committing the same crimes without a public being able to be informed & safer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:23am

    5 or 6 Guys Like THOMAS GOOLNIK

    Mike, if you just had 5 or 6 guys like Goolnik, you would not need any other topics to fill the blog. Just a weekly update/recurse on the RTBF from each.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pronounce (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:22pm

    Google Reviewers?

    Who says a Google RTBF reviewer is human? As a point in case I noticed that Google Maps blurs faces, and I thought that humans did that until I saw the face of a statue blurred, and so now I think it's face recognition software that does the blurring. I bet Google uses software to do RTBF and not humans. Software won't recognize your footnote to the reviewer, and will again fail the Turing Test.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:37pm

    New effect

    Someone needs to update the Wikipedia page for Striesand Effect, to add "known as the Goolnik Effect when applied through Right To Be Forgotten laws".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:57pm

    Did he ever pay the fines....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:56pm

    Let's hear it for Thomas Goolnik

    I for one will never forget you, Thomas Goolnik.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    New Mexico Mark, 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:01pm

    Another idea

    Forward this article (and related ones) to U.S. other media (print, radio, TV) for research and promulgation, except encourage them to dig up and post all details Goolnik wants disappeared -- and even ones he hasn't thought of yet. That way we will be documenting this silliness for historical purposes. This is one I'd love to see go viral.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 4:05pm

    RTBF == Googlezheimer's Disease

    ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 4:20pm

    We need to get THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of websites up all with identical content.

    Taking bets we can make Thomas Goolnik either give up this worthless crap or have to spent every single waking hour trying to find the (automated) links that spring up every time one is taken down on google.

    A simple crawler can search for a story, and if it's taken down it informs a CGI script to book ANOTHER link of the same item at a slightly different URL.....and on and on....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 4:42pm

    Don't everyone run over to Wikipedia all at once to create an entry now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 5:22pm

    Just checked

    Three of the articles on google.com first page, talk about his RTBF request on techdirt.

    I don't think he is going to be able to hide for much longer as other people keep bringing up his RTBF.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:01pm

    I found this information about Google censoring current event new stories about Right to be Forgotten very troubling. It appears Right to be Forgotten is nothing more than a censorship hammer used to pound things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 10:43pm

    Thomas Goolnik, Thomas Goolnik, Thomas Goolnik

    He seems to be some sort of opposite of Derek Smart:

    If you write Smart's name often enough, you'll summon him.

    If you write Goolnik's name often enough, he'll disappear...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2015 @ 3:26am

    My guess is the judge denied him the petition to change his last name. I want my MTV, bad Thomas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2015 @ 11:27am

    "Thomas Goolnik Really Wants To Be Forgotten: Google Disappears Our Post About His Right To Be Forgotten Request"

    Next weeks title

    "Thomas Goolnik Really REALLY Wants To Be Forgotten: Google Disappears Our Post ABOUT OUR POST About His Right To Be Forgotten Request"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JF (profile), 21 Sep 2015 @ 12:07pm

    http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/21/french-data-protection-watchdog-rejects-googles-search-delisting-ap peal/

    Now that Google has lost their appeal would TechDirt be willing to sue in the US if Mr. Goolnik tries to memory hole the story? Could make history if the US rules it is a first amendment issue and rules opposite of the EU. Who's rules does/should Google follow?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    john nasher, 21 Feb 2016 @ 8:30am

    haha you wont be forgotten


    Times Articles Removed From Google Results in Europe


    By NOAM COHEN and MARK SCOTTOCT. 3, 2014


    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.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Close
Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.