That Was Quick: Thomas Goolnik Already Gets Google To Forget Our Latest Story About Thomas Goolnik Getting Google To Forget Stories About Thomas Goolnik | Techdirt

We have had the same here at IgnorantAndUnreasonable

Dear Google RTBF reviewer (who I’m sure will be reading this soon): Under the terms of the GDPR, you are only supposed to agree to a content removal if what we are publishing is “personal data” that is no longer necessary, and (importantly, please read this, guys) that is not “for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information” or “for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes….” This post, like the last few, are news stories that are in the public interest, specifically about how someone is abusing the GDPR’s “right to erasure” process to delete news reports about his abuse of the GDPR “right to erasure” process. This story is not about anything earlier that Thomas Goolnik may or may not have done. It is about what he did within the last few days. It is not old. It is not no longer relevant. It is directly relevant, and this post should not be subject to any GDPR right to erasure claims.Dear Thomas Goolnik: Seriously dude? How much longer is this going to go on? It is legal for a news report to mention your name. We’re not even talking about the original think you want forgotten. We’re talking about what you’ve been up to the past few years trying to get everyone to forget the thing you want forgotten. Maybe let it go.

Source: That Was Quick: Thomas Goolnik Already Gets Google To Forget Our Latest Story About Thomas Goolnik Getting Google To Forget Stories About Thomas Goolnik | Techdirt

Google’s Arbitrary Morality Police Threaten Us Yet Again; Media Sites Probably Shouldn’t Use Google Ads | Techdirt

In the last two weeks we’ve received two notices of violations from AdSense, each of which seems more ridiculous than the other in some way, and which has us reconsidering our use of AdSense as a media property, as Google fails at distinguishing between reporting on bad things and celebrating those same things. In both cases, the “violation” involved a post that was many years old, so it’s unclear why Google suddenly discovered them. In both cases, the posts were basic reporting on something that had happened, and no rational and reasonable person would conclude they violated any policy that AdSense has. And, yet, in both cases, Google claimed they violated its policies, and threatened that if we were unable to sort through the 64,000 other posts on Techdirt to weed out the ones that somehow violate Googles bizarre and arbitrary morality police policies, we risk losing our account.

Source: Google’s Arbitrary Morality Police Threaten Us Yet Again; Media Sites Probably Shouldn’t Use Google Ads | Techdirt

Web Sheriff Accuses Us Of Breaking Basically Every Possible Law For Pointing Out That It’s Abusing DMCA Takedowns | Techdirt

Remember Web Sheriff? That’s the wacky firm that claims it will send DMCA takedowns on your behalf or protect your online reputation by taking down stuff you don’t like. The company is somewhat infamous for being a joke and not doing its job particularly well. A couple of weeks ago we wrote about the company abusing the DMCA to try to get Google to delist stories relating to that “celebrity threesome” media injunction in the UK that has been making news for a few months. We highlighted just how ridiculous this was on many accounts, including using a copyright takedown notice on an issue that wasn’t about copyright at all. And they even tried to take down the company’s own Zendesk request to remove content from Reddit.

Source: Web Sheriff Accuses Us Of Breaking Basically Every Possible Law For Pointing Out That It’s Abusing DMCA Takedowns | Techdirt

Thomas Goolnik Really Wants To Be Forgotten: Google Disappears Our Post About His Right To Be Forgotten Request | Techdirt

Last week we wrote about receiving our very first Right To Be Forgotten notice from Google, disappearing an earlier post that talked about articles in the NY Times that had been disappeared thanks to other RTBF requests. Yes, someone used a RTBF request to remove our article about the RTBF which was referencing other articles that someone had removed via a RTBF request.

And… yesterday we received a notification that this new article was also chucked down the memory hole thanks to a RTBF request, so that anyone who searches on a particular name in Europe will no longer see that article either. At this point, it’s fairly clear that it’s Thomas Goolnik who is making all of these RTBF requests, as he’s the only individual named. We don’t think either of our articles should be removed even under the EU’s laws that allow for a RTBF, because those laws only apply to out of date/irrelevant information, and the fact that Goolnik has just now made a RTBF request in an attempt to censor us and to edit his own Google results is not obsolete information and is entirely relevant and newsworthy.

Source: Thomas Goolnik Really Wants To Be Forgotten: Google Disappears Our Post About His Right To Be Forgotten Request | Techdirt

Internet Brands Targets Techdirt Post For Removal Because Of ‘Infringing’ Comment Left By A Reader

We really do need a way to properly punish abuses of DMCA takedown requests.

The DMCA takedown notice allows rights holders to perform targeted removals of infringing… I can’t even finish that sentence with a straight face. IN THEORY, it can. In reality, it often resembles targeting mosquitoes with a shotgun. Collateral damage is assumed.

Case in point: Internet Brands recently issued two takedown requests to protect some of its cruelty-free, farmed content originating at LawFirms.com. It’s this phrase — taken verbatim from LawFirms’ “Penalties for Tax Evasion” — that has triggered the takedown notices from Internet Brands.

Tax evasion refers to attempts by individuals, corporations or trusts to avoid paying the total amount of taxes owed through illegal means, known as tax evasion fraud.

The first takedown targets several URLs, some of them merely content scrapers. Other URLs listed (like this one) target posts with comments containing parts of IB’s post — even comments providing a link back to the original article being quoted.

The second (at least according to Google’s non-numeric sorting) is a repeat of the first, except for the addition of a Techdirt post. At first glance, the targeting of this article by Tim Geigner — “Dear Famous People: Stop Attempting Online Reputation Scrubbing; I Don’t Want To Write Streisand Stories Anymore” — would appear to be exactly the sort of behavior Dark Helmet was decrying. But it isn’t.

The phrase triggering the Internet Brands takedown can be found in a very late arrival to the comment thread, more than one-and-a-half years after the original post went live. It opens up with this:

This is a very interesting. I read the whole article at New York Magazine. So someone is accused of tax evasion and then charges are dropped and then tries to clean up his reputation…. nothing wrong with that.

Then, for no apparent reason, the commenter drops in the LawFirms.com paragraph highlighted above.

 

Now, here’s the problem. If blogs and other sites are reposting others’ content without permission, that’s one thing. But targeting whole posts for delisting just because a commenter copy-pasted some content is abusive. It could very possibly take out someone else’s created content — covered under their copyright. Using a DMCA notice in this fashion can allow unscrupulous rights holders to bypass Section 230 protections — effectively holding site owners “responsible” for comments and other third-party posts by removing the site’s original content from Google’s listings.

From the looks of it, Internet Brands did nothing more than perform a google search for this phrase and issue takedown notices for every direct quote that originated from somewhere other than its sites. It didn’t bother vetting the search results for third-party postings, fair use or anything else that might have made its takedown request more targeted. Internet Brands doesn’t issue many takedowns, so it’s not as though its IP enforcement squad had its hands full. In fact, there’s every reason to believe actual humans are involved in this process, rather than just algorithms — all the more reason to handle this more carefully. Here’s a little bit of snark it inserted into a 2014 DMCA takedown notice.

The interview and photos are published on our website and permission hasn’t been granted for anyone else to republish them. Not only is the content stolen it out ranks our website in a Google search for the keyword “th taylor”. So much for Google being able to identify the source of original content!

If a company has the time to leave personal notes for Google (which doesn’t have the time to read them), then it has time to ensure its requests aren’t targeting the creative works of others just to protect its own. The DMCA notice isnot some sort of IP-measuring contest with Google holding the ruler. If Internet Brands thinks it is — or just hasn’t bothered to vet its takedown requests before sending — it’s usually going to be the one coming up short. If Google doesn’t ignore the request, those on the receiving end of a bogus takedown will make a lot of noise. Either way, it”s accomplished nothing.

Link (Techdirt)