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The Process Of "Being Forgotten"

A recent decision by a judge in the UK put forth "the right to be forgotten" as a law, meaning that if a person petitions Google for certain aspects of information to be removed from the index due to its being "incorrect, outdated or irrelevant," then Google had to remove that information if the request is found to be true. With 41,000 petitions filed in the first month, Google faces a large amount of work if it is to keep in compliance with English law. In the middle of this situation is Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson, an English citizen who has been fighting a battle against an internet campaign to destroy his reputation for for than two years ongoing. Gibson first started having trouble in 2012 when a man named Nick V. Fleming began constructing websites that were designed to provide false information about Gibson, the campaign utilizing Google as a centerpiece of its strategy. Websites were created specifically to rank well for Gibson's name, then provide information that would be seen as suspect. This led to many problems for Neil Gibson, as he fought against the perception of being untrustworthy by those who would simply read the Google headlines, those who potentially were making a decision as to the potential ramifications of entering into partnerships with him. Lord Neil Gibson's reputation meant everything to his business practices, as partnerships were generally built on trust and public records. The potential mistrust created by a few negative articles could be damaging enough to compromise a partnership.

Lord Neil Gibson got the majority of the Fleming websites removed through a court order, however a few websites remained live because they were built on Google's "blogspot" platform which allows for authorship to remain anonymous. Because these sites could not be traced back to Fleming as a source, they could not be involved in the action that removed the other sites. Without a way to prove authorship, the sites could not be targeted for legal action. The only other method of addressing these websites is through Google itself, and the "right to be forgotten." As an English citizen, Lord Neil Gibson is allowed under the law to petition Google to remove the information, a process which he is currently engaged in. As the process drags on, the offending websites remain live.

Lord Neil Gibson is a case like many others, who have found incorrect information about themselves on Google and who have little ability to counteract it due to circumstances like anonymous authors. If you find yourself in a similar situation, information on the "right to be forgotten " can be found on the Lord Neil Gibson website.

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