§§ — The decision by Europe's highest court allows people living in Europe to ask for links to "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" material to be removed from search results, although it will still be available on the original web page[.]

Google Search might be unambiguously considered as a "search engine", but what about other websites like Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora, StackExchange, 4chan, Reddit, etc?

Are news websites which store their own archives of old news considered a "search engine", or "original web page", or both? (Notice that material must be removed from search results yet is allowed to remain available on the original web page.)

Let's assume that John Doe (either an imaginary student, salaryman, politician, etc) exercised his right to be forgotten. Then, :

  • Does a blogger have the right to list links and prior search results of John Doe's past on his personal blog which is publicly available?

  • If the blogger also writes about John Doe's past (i.e. the blogger creates original material), would the blogpost now be considered "original web page" and allowed to be available?


1 Answer 1


The judgment (Google Spain and Google (Judgment of the Court) [2014] EUECJ C-131/12) is definitive on this point at paragraph 41:

...the activity of a search engine consisting in finding information published or placed on the internet by third parties, indexing it automatically, storing it temporarily and, finally, making it available to internet users according to a particular order of preference...

In your example, the blogger would be unaffected by the decision as his links are presumably collected and sorted by hand. However, the blog itself may be removed from Google et al at the request of John Doe.

  • According to that quote, does it mean that news websites with search functions are still allowed to return the search results?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 8:55
  • It's a matter of interpretation, but if a news site's search function only covered the site itself, then the information being found isn't published by a third party, so in theory it should be exempt. But I'm not the CJEU :)
    – Flup
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 8:59
  • Are you aware if the laws are volatile now and fairly likely to change in a few years time?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 1:55
  • It's case law, so could be overridden by another case or by EU statute. Impossible to know when this might happen.
    – Flup
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 7:57
  • You should clarify your answer to state that the blog may be removed for searches of "John Doe", but would still appear for other search terms.
    – user
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 12:29

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