Journalists whose research is hampered by the Google Spain 'right to be forgotten' ruling should be able to find delisted content via Google.com.
Google has confirmed that it is focusing its take-down strategy on European domains, as Google.com targets American searchers.
Fortunately for journalists, most European content is available on Google.com. And publishers can also provide links to the American search engine, so readers can see content that has been removed from European domains.
Google has confirmed that less than five per cent of its European search traffic went via its .com search engine.
But the decision has angered critics, who say Google has misinterpreted the ruling.
The International Forum for Responsible Media (Informm) blog said: "The question is not 'on what country is the particular version of Google targeted' but 'where is the data processed'.
Journalists can also access delisted content via the Google cache. People must make separate requests to have caches cleared – and many don't bother.
To access a cached article, search for the website by name. Then in the results, click the down arrow next to the site's address, and select Cached.
These are some of the criteria Google uses for take-down requests:
- The person's right to privacy
- The public's right to access information
- Whether the search results include the information
- Whether an individual is a public figure
- Who published the information: eg, a reputable news source or a government website.
- If the person published the original information themselves.
- The type of information: ie, criminal convictions.
Cleland Thom is author of the eBook, Internet law for journalists