Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube dominate the list of pages removed due to individuals invoking the European Union’s (EU) ”right to be forgotten.”
Individuals usually invoke the “right to be forgotten” for their Facebook page to disappear from Google Search, a recent study by cybersecurity firm Surfshark shows.
The “right to be forgotten,” an EU privacy law, allows individuals to request the removal of their personal data from online search results or take down data held by certain organizations.
Since the law was enacted eight years ago, people have asked to delist 5.6 million pages.
According to Surfshark, usually, it is Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages that Europeans want to get removed from Google Search results.
For example, in 29 out of 31 analyzed countries, Facebook ranks among the top 10 domains from which Google has delisted the most web pages. The report claims that 48.6k delisted URLs come from Facebook, 30.4k from X (formerly Twitter), and 17.6k from YouTube.
Of 100k delisted pages across three platforms, Germany and France are the most active countries, accounting for nearly half of all delisted URLs.
“When accounting for the uneven population size across analyzed countries, the Netherlands emerges as a clear leader, with 57 URLs delisted per 100k people,” reads the report.
Interestingly, in only two countries, Sweden and Romania, neither of the platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) appears in the top 10 in terms of delisted URLs on Google Search.
While Swedes most often ask to be delisted from Mrkool.se, a website that publishes personal data of all citizens aged over 16, Romanians requested their data to be delisted from an adult content website.
Surfshark researchers also claim that while, on average, around half of the requested URLs are delisted, the delisting rate of the top three domains is notably lower, standing at around 40%.
“This implies that requests to delist webpages from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are fulfilled somewhat less frequently than those from other domains,” reads the report.
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