Requests for deletion of negative content on the Internet soar

Requests for the removal of negative content on the Internet soar

Regarding 2021:

  • 75 % of the users of the network request that it be deleted negative contentmainly motivated by their actions.
  • Madrid and Catalonia lead the requests. The 70 % to remove content come from companies.
  • Increase a 45% the requests from professionals for the removal of content sexual.
  • The 85 % of the requests for politicians request remove negative content on his figure.
  • 25% of content deletion ends up in court proceedings.

Madrid, 01 February 2023. Last year the concern of users and companies about what is published on the Internet suffered a significant increase, 30 % more than in 2021. This was revealed in a study carried out at the beginning of January by the digital marketing consultancy, Exprimenet in collaboration with the online reputation and right to be forgotten company Honoraliaon 2,000 enquiries from companies and individuals. 

The applications are mainly addressed to the removal of negative contentin a 75%. In addition, to the web crawl on his or her positive reputation, a 15%, and to find out what there is about him or her, a 10%.

The major concern about negative content is mainly, about news they have seen about them, to the 45%, followed by reviews, 17%, sexual content, 12%, video, 10%, and social networking, 5% and other issues the rest.

The negative content published that users are most concerned about is the motivated by negative actions they have taken, the 70%, followed by false information (fake News) by 20%, or errors in publications, 10%.

The concern about the negative content posted on the Internet comes mainly from, of companies, a 70%followed by private individuals, 30%. This is because "87 % of companies consider reputational risk management to be more important than other strategic risks in the short term".

Professionals and politicians

The study highlights the significant increase in requests for removal of sexually explicit content byprofessionalsa 45% compared to 2021. 

Among the great diversity of professional profiles among applicants, the following stand out political, where most of his requests, 85%, are to remove negative content about his figure.. Meanwhile, 3 % asked for a trace to find out what is about him or her on the Internet, and 2% about his or her positive reputation. During 2022, there were 25% more requests from politicians, on a personal basis, than in 2021.

25% of content deletion ends up in court proceedings

Removing negative content from a particular website is often complicated, with 25% of these cases leading to court proceedings. 75 % of these cases ended in a court claim, 15 in court and 10 % in a settlement at trial. Of these, 75 % ended in a legal claim, 15 in a court case and 10 % in a settlement at trial. Why is it complicated, "because the other party, whether a media outlet or a search engine, believes it has the right to keep the information accessible to the public on the Internet, either because it believes it is covered by freedom of information or expression, or because it is in the public interest".

The "deletion" of data from Internet as such, is understood as the deletion of the publication; anonymisation, which means changing the name and surname for the initials of the publication; and de-indexing, which consists of the website editor establishing the technical-computer protocols (NO INDEX) so that the publication is not accessible when queries are made by name and surname on the Internet. Apart from these three cases, there are no other mechanisms for deletion from a legal point of view, according to Exprimenet.

Currently, the legislation that recognises the right to be forgotten is Organic Law 3/2018, of 5 December, on the Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights, specifically in its article 93; and Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), specifically its article 17.

Requests from Madrid and Catalonia, mainly

The top of the communities with the greatest concern for their online reputation is led by Madrid, and Catalonia, with 60 and 20% respectively of the applications. This is followed by Andalusia, with 10%. Queries focused on negative content published, mostly in Spain, 85%, followed by Europe and the rest of the world, 10 and 5 % respectively.

National consultation

The Exprimenet study was carried out earlier this year on more than 2,000 companies and individuals in collaboration with the online reputation and right to be forgotten firm Honoralia.

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