In its annual Transparency Report, the search giant let it be known that it has now been subject to millions of individual requests over the intervening three years, although fewer than half of these (43%) were actually carried out.
The controversial European Court of Justice ruling grants individuals the right to request that Google de-list pages referencing them from internet search results in an attempt to hide awkward social media posts or legal issues such as being associated with a crime on a government or news webpage.
By far the largest source of such requests (85%) originate from private individuals and it is believed that a growing proportion emanate from celebrities and politicians mindful of their past coming back to haunt them. Between them both groups requested that over 75,000 websites be de-listed over the past two years.
Intriguingly just 1,000 requesters were responsible for 15% of all URL de-listing requests, with Google observing that many of these requesters were ‘law firms and reputation management services’.
One such example saw The Drum challenge a request to suppress a 2008 story concerning the departure of Love agency co-founder Alistair Sim.