‘Right to be forgotten’ ruling sees article about ‘foul-mouthed’ ex-Law Society president removed from Google

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By Alex Aldridge on

Articles in The Independent, The Telegraph and The Guardian about Robert Sayer — who described an individual backing his Law Society rival as “a piece of dog turd on your shoe” — disappear from search engine after implementation of controversial ruling.

Several newspaper stories about a solicitor are in the first batch of articles to be removed from Google search results following the EU’s controversial ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling.

The story about former Law Society chief Robert Sayer in The Independent — which can be read here — is headlined “‘Foul-mouthed’ new head of Law Society” and reports on the name-calling in which Sayer engaged during the run-up to his election to the role. It was published in 1999.

Sayer, who practises from Sayer Moore & Co Solicitors, called one of the opposition’s campaign team a “dog turd” and labelled his rival a “pillock”.

Stories about Sayer in The Telegraph and The Guardian have also disappeared from Google search results. The Telegraph piece covers claims that Robert Sayer faked complaints against his Asian deputy, which a hearing refused to refer to the police.

Google told The Independent that it had removed the article, along with two others from the newspaper, from “certain searches on European versions of Google”. The articles are still accessible on Google.com.

Google offers no explanation about the identity of those who request the takedowns or for what reason they are granted. But applications must supply identity verification to prove the links relate either to themselves, or that they have the legal authority to act on the claimant’s behalf.

The company reportedly received more than 41,000 in the four days following the ruling in May, which saw the ECJ order that Google must remove information deemed “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant”.