|Blogger's Review Ruled Too Popular
By: Jessica Cherok
Perhaps the ability to remove unwanted and unflattering stories about you has gotten out of control in Europe. This week, a French judge handed down a ruling against a blogger whose negative restaurant review was too popular.
It all started when a food blogger wrote a scathing review of a local restaurant. The blogger, Caroline Doudet, writes a fashion and literature blog with about 3,000 followers. The court found that because of the number of followers, the article was highly ranked in the search results. The high ranking of the article is what led the judge to find against the blogger, saying that the level of exposure has caused harm to the business. The judge ordered for the title of the article to be changed, but ultimately it has been deleted.
This decision comes amidst the recent “right to be forgotten” ruling from Europe’s highest court. Google has been ordered to comply with take-down requests from individuals who ask for information about them to be removed. Reasons for removal include “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant.” If Google does not comply, the company could face fines.
This trend toward removing unwanted, negative posts may be helpful for individuals and businesses looking to preserve their images. However, it also appears to have the potential to limit free and open commentary.
While Europe holds privacy rights to a much stricter standard than the U.S., it is likely that similar trends will begin to appear here as social media continues to gain importance as a source for commentary and reviews.
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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