Want to Clean Up Your Google Search Results?
Done something dodge and want it wiped from the Internet? Well now you can!
I’ve had more than my fair share of controversy over my year as a Tab columnist. Was I right to expose Cuth’s rugby for their drunken ‘fun’, or bring Hatfield fashion show under disrepute? One argument against my actions has been “Think of the Google results!” No one wants the first thing that comes up when you Google their name to be that they were the captain of a rugby club which played the infamous “It’s not rape if…” game. And it’s not just Durham, Tabs around the country have named and shamed students for doing things that in times past may have just been tut tutted and swept under the carpet.
How will I get my consultancy grad scheme if the internet knows I was part of a drinking society with misogynistic tendencies, which vomited all over a curry house and ruined the carpet? Is one of the great questions facing the youth of today.
Well now the EU has come to the rescue. Thanks to one Spanish man with a dodgy financial history you can apply to Google to clean up your search results. Tempting.
My own Google search results aren’t exactly what I’d like. Gone are the days when quotes about my feminist legacy in the Telegraph soared to the top of the screen. Nope, that’s on page two now. My top search result is the only article with my name in the title, and it doesn’t paint me quite how I’d like.
So am I going to fill in a form and ask for some cosmetic surgery on my top hits? No. Firstly, I can’t be bothered, and secondly, because I stand by what I said.
People googling me, or anyone else, have a right to look at what I’ve done and make their own mind up. Chances are your future employer at Ernst and Young was also a member of a misogynistic drinking society who vomited all over a carpet, he may sympathise with you… maybe… maybe not. Maybe the partners at Bird and Bird will look at the evidence and decide that your fashion show wasn’t culturally insensitive after all. My future employers might look at my opinions dotted over the internet, and side with you, Tab commenters. That’s a risk I’ve taken.
Maybe you don’t stand by your actions, maybe you are full of remorse and regret. Are you one of the 41,000 EU residents who have filled in a form already? Well then you really shouldn’t have done it in the first place. If your actions were that bad that you don’t feel like you can defend them, your words weren’t twisted, you really were that much of a prick. Then maybe everyone deserves to know.
If you don’t want it online, don’t do it. Yeah of course I’ve done stuff I don’t want online, but it tends to be the things that everyone does that they don’t want online. Like pooing, or owning breasts. If you think it might look bad in the Tab, it is probably a bad idea in the first place.
Anyway it doesn’t really matter as the EU only has control of EU domains, so all your sexist curry house antics will still be all over google dot com. Maybe you’ll be lucky and your employer will use bing anyway?