A politician has brought the first "right to be forgotten" case to court in Ireland, seeking to be de-listed by Google after having been categorised as homophobic and branded in the same class as a member of Islamic State (Isis). The case was taken to court after Google denied his request to be de-listed.
Irish politician Mark Savage initially appealed to Google. However, after being rejected, he filed a case at the Circuit Civil Court, asking them to strike the initial ruling made by Helen Dixon, the Irish data protection commissioner. Savage had claimed that his privacy was being intruded upon, given that entering his name on Google, the very first result stated him out to be Dublin's homophobic candidate, the Irish Times reported.
"Being branded a homophobic means I'm in the same category as Isis who throw gay people to their death from the top of buildings," Savage said. "I feel I'm being victimised and pathologised as a homophobic for having an imposing opinion."
Savage came under attack over his stance in a local 2014 election in which he took aim at "perverted gay men" using the local Donabate beach to participate in "inappropriate sexual behaviour". There was a series of comments on a Reddit thread, which according to Savage, "deliberately mark me out as homophobic, which I am not".
According to Cian Ferriter SC, for Google Ireland, savage is petitioning for the Reddit thread to be removed from Google's search results. However, Google maintains it is not involving itself in what it considers to be public opinion. "It would be a very dangerous precedent if the likes of Google were put in a position of resolving disputes between people," Ferriter said.
Savage, who is representing himself in the case, told Judge Elma Sheahan that Google has been unfavourably displaying the Reddit website as its top search result, despite more recent reports about him and has also accused Google of being outspokenly in favour of gay issues.