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Wikipedia Founder Calls European Google Ruling ‘Wide-Sweeping Censorship’

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Jimmy Wales says the European court ruling is a form of censorship that will hobble Google's ability to function. (Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Jimmy Wales says the European court ruling is a form of censorship that will hobble Google’s ability to function. (Kirsty Wigglesworth – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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LONDON (CBS DC) – The founder of Wikipedia is blasting a European court ruling that forces Google to edit or erase search results when asked to do so.

Speaking to the BBC, Jimmy Wales said the European Union Court of Justice’s decision was “one of the most wide-sweeping internet censorship rulings that I’ve ever seen.”

The ruling is designed to protect an individual’s privacy, and allows a person who believes they have been wronged on the Internet to ask Google to remove any offending items.

For example, if someone is wrongly accused of a crime and reports of the allegation remain online, that person could ask the search giant to edit or remove links to the reports instead of having to contact each publisher.

Wales has questions about the practicality of the ruling, saying people can “complain about something and just say it’s irrelevant, and Google has to make some kind of a determination about that. That’s a very hard and difficult thing for Google to do, particularly if Google is at risk of being held legally liable if it gets it wrong in some way.”

“If they have to start coping with everybody who whines about a picture they posted last week, it’s going to be very difficult for Google,” he added.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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