Since a European Court of Justice ruling last year, individuals have the right to request that search engines remove certain web pages from their search results. Those pages usually contain personal information about individuals.
Following the ruling, Google removed a large number of links from its search results, including some to BBC web pages, and continues to delist pages from BBC Online.
Update 29/06/15: Google has asked us to point out that links to the BBC articles below are only delisted from results for queries on certain names. They are not removed from the Google index entirely. We're happy to make that clear.
The BBC has decided to make clear to licence fee payers which pages have been removed from Google's search results by publishing this list of links.
Update 23/04/21: As part of some housekeeping on this site, we have amended how we publish these lists each month. We have slightly edited this post to reflect this.
We are doing this primarily as a contribution to public policy. We think it is important that those with an interest in the “right to be forgotten” can ascertain which articles have been affected by the ruling. We hope it will contribute to the debate about this issue. We also think the integrity of the BBC's online archive is important and, although the pages concerned remain published on BBC Online, removal from Google searches makes parts of that archive harder to find.
The pages affected by delinking may disappear from Google searches, but they do still exist on BBC Online. David Jordan, the BBC’s Director of Editorial Policy and Standards, has written a blog post which explains how we view that archive as “a matter of historic public record" and, thus, something we alter only in exceptional circumstances. The BBC’s rules on deleting content from BBC Online are strict; in general, unless content is specifically made available only for a limited time, the assumption is that what we publish on BBC Online will become part of a permanently accessible archive. To do anything else risks reducing transparency and damaging trust.
Setting out that view and so as to be as transparent as possible, the BBC has published guidance on the removal of content from its services, and I've written previously about how we manage BBC Online's archive.
One caveat: when looking through this list it is worth noting that we are not told who has requested the delisting, and we should not leap to conclusions as to who is responsible. The request may not have come from the obvious subject of a story.