Thursday, July 10, 2014

Online information vanishing for variety of reasons

I recently wrote about how online information can disappear without warning. This happens for a number of reasons.
In a dangerous precedent, the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove from its search index articles and other posts that might embarrass people. It soon was inundated with “right to be forgotten” requests, including some from the subjects of newsworthy stories.
Google pushed back and alerted news organizations about individual stories set for deletion from the index earlier this month. Thankfully common sense prevailed in some cases and links were restored, Reuters and Techdirt reported. However, the censorship persists in many other cases.
But Google is a willing participant in other censorship. It has let stars like Paul McCartney and Jimmy Page blur out their U.K. houses on Street View, the Independent reported.
And Google is letting anyone request that their home, car or other images be deleted from Street View, the Huffington Post reported.
Sometimes social media sites take down images they find offensive. Facebook has been particularly aggressive here.
For instance, it has scrubbed Instagram of bare breasts like they are something shameful. Pop star Rihanna was forced to cancel her Instagram account because she likes to go au naturel.
Last week, Facebook deleted photos taken by a Texas Tech cheerleader on her African big-game hunting trip.
While the hunts were legal, Facebook said it removes it removes “reported content that promotes poaching of endangered species, the sale of animals for organized fight or content that includes extreme acts of animal abuse,” according to the Huffington Post.
Last year, Tumblr deleted three of my blogs and hundreds of curated images because of a complaint from one prickly photographer pushing a copyright claim on a couple of photos. Tumblr refused to hear my “fair use” appeal. In fact, the Yahoo-owned blogging site never responded to my numerous emails about the takedown.

Photo: Homes in Wilmette, Ill., on Google Street View.

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