Many Google takedown requests are about content from the complainant

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Google appears to receive a striking number of removal requests from internet users who want to see self-generated content disappear from the search results. This concerns profiles on social media services or content created by the complainant himself.

This can be concluded from figures from the Forget Me service, a service of the company Reputation VIP. Forget Me submitted approximately 15,000 takedown requests to Google on behalf of customers and created an infographic based on these requests. This shows that 22 percent of the submitted removal requests refer to content that was created by the complainant. On top of this, an additional 13 percent come from removal requests that refer to profiles on social media services. More than a third of the requests sent to Google by Forget Me can therefore be directly related to content created by internet users themselves.

Google appears to provide an answer to a submitted request in almost half of the cases. 59 percent of those are rejected. In 26 percent of the rejections, the search engine states that the information in question “may be of interest to potential customers of a professional service.” At 22 percent, Google rejects a right-to-forget request because the complainant is the author of the content. In 13 percent of the rejections, it concerns social network profiles that in principle can be removed or modified by the user himself.

In July, Google itself indicated that it removes a search result 54 percent of the time when a user submits a request. A third of ‘requests to be forgotten’ are rejected and in 15 percent of cases Google first asks for more information from the complainant.

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