Whaleoil now part of Google’s “dark net”

Seems the European Data law that forces Google to filter search results with certain, erm, search results, has hit us too.

Due to a request under data protection law in Europe, we are no longer able to show one or more pages from your site in our search results in response to some search queries for names or other personal identifiers. Only results on European versions of Google are affected. No action is required from you.
These pages have not been blocked entirely from our search results, and will continue to appear for queries other than those specified by individuals in the European data protection law requests we have honored. Unfortunately, due to individual privacy concerns, we are not able to disclose which queries have been affected.

Please note that in many cases, the affected queries do not relate to the name of any person mentioned prominently on the page. For example, in some cases, the name may appear only in a comment section.

The following URLs have been affected by this action:

http://www.whaleoil.net.nz/2010/04/page/6/
http://www.whaleoil.net.nz/2010/page/147/

So, you too, as commenters anyway, are possibly censored. ?

How do you know if you are affected? ?You don’t.

At this stage, Google simply refuses to return results to certain European searchers that it makes available to anyone else in the world.

Whaleoil self-censors when I become aware of accidental suppression breaches. ?In one very odd case earlier this year all the details of the catholic ratbag that was being deported to Aussie for sex crimes were able to be openly discussed – but we’re not allowed to see his photo. ? Once I was made aware of this distinction, I removed the content to comply.

Other times, very rare times, people will email me to ask if I could please remove a page because it interferes with their life/job in an overly negative way. ?I tend to deal with those on merit, generally erring on the side of leaving the sunlight shining where it is supposed to.

The real problem is that we don’t know what Google hides. ?But then, we’ve never known what it hides in a practical sense by using its own ranking algorithms.

Two years ago, we had the infamous case of the Turtle Molester?where I decided it needed to stay published in spite of the person showing genuine remorse. ?Both the story and the apology stay up – as well as the explanation, and the content therefore is complete for other people to make up their own mind.

In it, I wrote

As one of my commenters has noted I am an advocate of owning your own shit. I don?t hide my past posts, even though some of them are terribly embarrassing and re-reading them is sometimes just awful, the fact is that I wrote those and I should own what I did and said int he past. This is one of those situations that should serve as an example to all.

Hiding what happened in the past should only be done under the most exceptional circumstances – mostly where it impacts on the innocent.

At the risk of putting the poor man back into the spotlight, it is outbursts like these that people want to cover back up

beau-murrah

I can fully understand Beau wanted to “unsay” this. ? But it was said. ?And it was?genuinely?apologised for. ?That makes for a complete story.

The European Union makes some awful decisions at times, and this?European Data law is one where the public at large is not served by hiding easy access to information that is factual and is needed to come to?a fully informed opinion about a person, company or situation.

Not knowing what is hidden and why requires us to trust Google to do the right thing, and we are at the mercy of people who have the money and the legal prowess to enforce their disproportionate will on the rest of us by trying to hide what happened from the world.

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