Google “removes” Irish Times articles and images on Seán Quinn and his family

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Google informed the Irish Times that it had deleted a number of search terms, so that at least a dozen articles and images, all related to former billionaire businessman Seán Quinn and to his family, will no longer be available under those search terms.

Publishers such as The Irish Times are not notified of specific search terms removed by Google, only of affected articles.

The consequence of delisting is that articles that previously appeared on Google under certain search terms will no longer be and therefore become more difficult to find.

However, they remain available on Google if other search terms are used and can also be found in the archives of the Irish Times.

A list of the Irish Times articles affected by this deletion is provided below.

Why can search terms be removed?

Unlike traditional forms of media (print and broadcast) which by nature tend to be ephemeral, the internet never forgets and what is published online tends to stay there forever.

Given the nature of search engines, this means that something posted online a long time ago is just as easy to find now as something posted yesterday.

What is the law on the right to be forgotten (RTBF)?

RTBF is a right under European law that aims to allow the removal of a person’s personal information from Internet search results, under certain circumstances.

The underlying principle is that after a certain period of time, information about a natural person should no longer be relevant to that person, and therefore it would generally be considered unfair if this information was still available and, in particular, displayed. prominent in search results. .

How does the law work?

Anyone can file a request with a search engine such as Google to have specific articles and / or images removed from search results next to their name.

They should provide the links to the articles / images, provide the search terms and state the reasons why those articles should be removed.

What happens then?

If a search engine decides to confirm the request, it will remove articles from search results against the name of one or more people.

They will also notify the publisher that they have removed the article (s) from their index against certain search terms. However, they will not tell publishers what the search terms are or who the requester is.

Can publishers appeal what gets removed from a search engine index?

No. However, a delisting only applies to certain search results via Google. Deleted articles remain available on Google if other search terms are used and can also be found on the publisher’s website under all relevant search terms.

What has Google removed from the list that impacts the Irish Times?

Google has removed a number of search terms which, when used on Google, brought up a number of Irish Times articles and images about Seán Quinn and his family.

As a result of the delisting when these search terms entered Google, these Irish Times articles will no longer be part of the results.

The Irish Times articles below are among those affected by the delisting.

IBCR unveils the assets of the Seán Quinn family in India on the web – March 2018

Seán Quinn’s family calls for the lifting of bank account freezing orders – April 2013

IBRC asks for details on Quinns’ involvement with QuinnBet – November 2017

Offer of 5 M € for any claim by Quinns – March 2013

Court finds Quinn’s disclosure “substandard” in IBRC case – July 2013

IBRC asks court to address Quinn family’s position on paper trail – March 2013

Quinn case: There was nothing “normal” in this saga of litigation – April 2019

Quinns cites threat of contempt for silence on financial details – February 2013

Judge Reserves Decision on Payment of Quinn Family Expenses – June 2016

Quinn Finance settles case against McPartland – January 2014

Quinns takes big bet as online betting comes under pressure – August 2017

Aoife Quinn told court she spent almost all of her € 370,000 salary – January 2013

Sean Quinn’s ‘Almost Certain’ Family Behind Dismantling of Company’s $ 10 Million Assets, Judge Says – March 2018

Quinn family living expenses to be paid from frozen accounts, court rules – June 2016


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