POLICY REGARDING REQUESTS FOR REMOVAL OF CONTENT AND
RIGHT-TO-BE-FORGOTTEN REQUESTS

Archived items are not removed

The Limpopo Mirror does not remove content from its website after publication except in cases of severe ethical violations, such as if the story is found to be fabricated. Rather, stories with factual errors or needed clarifications will be corrected with a notice at the top detailing when the story was updated with corrections.

This policy is in place to avoid setting a precedent in which anyone who does not like something that was published can simply ask to have it taken down. The Limpopo Mirror does not change history. If editors thought it was newsworthy enough to run in the paper or online, its value remains.

 

Right to be forgotten requests

The Limpopo Mirror recognises that there are cases where search engines provide a skewed picture of history and reflect articles that are, in isolation, not a good indication of the character of an individual. Requests that such articles in our archives be marked not to be indexed by search engines, will be considered. When such requests are considered factors such as the time period that had elapsed, the incidents preceding the event and the nature of the article, will be considered.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in November 2014, published guidelines as to how such requests should be handled in the EU. Criteria to be used include the following:

  1. Does the search result relate to a natural person – i.e. an individual? And does the search result come up against a search on the data subject’s name?
  2. Does the data subject play a role in public life? Is the data subject a public figure?
  3. Is the data subject a minor?
  4. Is the data accurate?
  5. Is the data relevant and not excessive?
  6. Is the information sensitive within the meaning of Article 8 of the Directive 95/46/EC?
  7. Is the data up to date? Is the data being made available for longer than is necessary for the purpose of the processing?
  8. Is the data processing causing prejudice to the data subject? Does the data have a disproportionately negative privacy impact on the data subject?
  9. Does the search result link to information that puts the data subject at risk?
  10. In what context was the information published?
  11. Was the original content published in the context of journalistic purposes?
  12. Does the publisher of the data have a legal power – or a legal obligation– to make the personal data publicly available?
  13. Does the data relate to a criminal offence?

A comprehensive interpretation of the ruling of the European Court can be found here:

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/article-29/documentation/opinion-recommendation/files/2014/wp225_en.pdf

While it is every individual’s right to submit a right-to-be-forgotten request to a search engine, the Limpopo Mirror has a pre-emptive approach in that it will, in worthy cases, make efforts to indicate to search engines that such articles should not be indexed. It is important to take note of the fact that search engines are not obliged to contact website administrators when such requests for the removal of listings are received. The content, however, remains on the website and the prerogative to edit or remove such content remains that of the publisher.