FB, X & YouTube pages most delisted from Google search: Report

EU citizens exercise their "right to be forgotten" privacy law with Google, impacting Facebook, X (formally Twitter), and YouTube pages

Facebook, Twitter (X), and YouTube pages top Google's "right to be forgotten" delisting requests in Europe (Photo: IANS)
Facebook, Twitter (X), and YouTube pages top Google's "right to be forgotten" delisting requests in Europe (Photo: IANS)


Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube pages are the most delisted from Google Search when requested by European individuals using the "right to be forgotten" privacy law, a new report has shown.

According to the cybersecurity firm Surfshark, about 100,000 Facebook, X, and YouTube pages have been delisted from Google using the “right to be forgotten”.

The ”right to be forgotten” is a European Union (EU) privacy law that allows individuals to request the delisting of their personal information from online search results or remove data held by certain organisations.

Over the last eight years, people requested Google to delist over 5.6 million webpages -- making them undiscoverable in Google search. About half of these requests were fulfilled.

According to the report, usually, it is Facebook, X, and YouTube pages that Europeans want to get removed from Google Search results.

For instance, Facebook ranked among the top 10 domains from which Google has delisted the most web pages in 29 of the 31 analysed countries. As per the report, Facebook has 48.6K delisted URLs, X has 30.4K, and YouTube has 17.6K.

Germany and France are the most active countries among the 100k delisted pages across three platforms, 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,” the report said.

Interestingly, neither of the platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) appeared in the top 10 in terms of delisted URLs on Google Search in Sweden and Romania.

Instead, in Sweden, the most commonly delisted domain was Mrkool.se (a website that publishes personal data of all Swedes above the age of 16), while in Romania, it was camvideos.me (an adult content website).

The researchers also claimed that, while around half of the requested URLs are delisted on average, the delisting rate of the top three domains is significantly lower, at around 40 per cent.

“This implies that requests to delist webpages from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are fulfilled somewhat less frequently than those from other domains,” the report mentioned.

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Published: 30 Sep 2023, 4:01 PM