Sunday, July 6, 2014
The Misbegotten Right to be Forgotten
As many of you know, Google has begun removing certain links from its search results under a European court ruling establishing the so-called "Right to be Forgotten," which requires search engines to remove links that are shown to be outdated and irrelevant. A very serious matter .... and one which gives me a really great idea!
"Hello, is this Google?"
"Yes, sir. How may I help you?."
"Wow, I can't believe I got through! I'm a big fan! You may not believe it, but I use Google almost every day!"
"That's gratifying, sir."
"I want you to know I would never use Bing! I never even liked Bing Crosby! You're probably too young to know the name."
"I know it, sir. Now what can I do for you?"
"I was reading about the Right to be Forgotten law. There's some posts on my blog I'd like to be forgotten. Very forgotten."
"Well, you have to have a reason under the law, sir, to have search information removed."
"Oh, I do! I do! I have a very good reason."
"Could you tell me your reason?"
"Sure. I'm a humor writer and I want Google to stop searching for my blog posts that aren't funny."
"I don't want Google to lead anyone to my posts that suck! I have enough trouble getting readers as it is."
"Sir, you can't just ask us to remove links without justification. The links must be outdated and irrelevant."
"You want outdated? I've got jokes about Tammy Faye Baker!"
"OMG! What about irrelevant?"
"Irrelevant? What would you call a post that has Mitt Romney singing "Whatever It Is, I'm Against It" or the Lone Ranger hiring a Jewish sidekick named Hyman Silvers?"
"About as irrelevant as humility is to Ben Affleck! And I agree, sir, every damn bit as unfunny as you indicated!"
"So where do I file my Right to be Forgotten Petition?"
"You don't. That only applies in Europe, not the U.S."
"But, sir, why don't you just delete the unfunny posts?"
"Fraid I can't do that."
"If I only leave the good stuff, my blog will be shorter than Parade Magazine!"
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Nobody hits a home run every at bat, Sunshine. Anyone who never wrote a bad post didn't write very many (probably a grand total of one). When I hit the "publish" button and run a particularly bad piece up the flag pole, I always tell myself I'll be funnier next time.
Then I tell the audience, "I know this one sucked, but it was Perry's idea. He told me you'd love it." So feel free to blame me the next time you post a real clucker.
Like I keep telling myself, "You're only as bad as your worst post."
I think that was comforting. I'm not sure. Anyway, I always tell myself I'll be funnier the next lifetime.
And I would never blame you for a bad post, Russell. NEVER! That's because I would never pay attention to any of your ideas. I'll bomb all on my own, thank you!
Anyway after all that, Google said they couldn't find me anyway. It seems their algorithm actually has some taste!
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