Right to be forgotten: Wikipedia founder thinks European court ruling amounts to censorship of knowledge


Already, Google has received thousands of requests for personal information to be removed from the Internet, but the controversy over the European court's ruling has led many to argue that the move to allow citizens to ask for content pertaining to them be removed is a form of censorship. Entering the fray is Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who said that the court is censoring knowledge and called for the ruling to be reversed.

Wales argued that for information that is truthful and obtained legally and published online, it should not be allowed to have individuals request that it be removed as this, he argues, is a form of censorship that leads to a litany of problems and issues related to the Internet and search, in general.

"I think there is no possibility of any defensible 'right' to censor what other people are saying," he said in an exclusive interview with TechCrunch.

While many people across the globe are calling for better protection of privacy rights, Wales argues that this ruling hinders the ability to have a real discussion on privacy issues that could have a greater impact on daily lives.

"We have a typical situation where incompetent politicians have written well-meaning but incoherent legislation without due consideration for human rights and technical matters," Wales added.

The court ruling in May gave individuals the right to petition for specific information that has been published online to be removed from searches. It stemmed from a Spanish man who claimed he was unable to land a job because a photo of him in front of the home he was evicted from was accessible to the general public.

Since Google began a webform that allowed citizens to submit requests for the removal of information went live late last month, the company has reported over 40,000 requests, with over half of those filed on the first day.

Wales, a believer in the complete and open access to information, has continually lashed out at the ruling, calling it "ridiculous" and "very bizarre." In the interview, he also said that the ruling is a "deep injustice and terrible danger in European law."

Wales is unlikely to end his dispute over the court's ruling anytime soon.

ⓒ 2018 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Real Time Analytics