Can removing negative content from the internet have legal implications?

This time we will look at the impact of removing negative content from the internet with respect to legal implications. At present, increased interest in removing such content by 30% compared to the statistics obtained in 2021.

And this could be related to the fact that since 2021 the presence of businesses on the internet has increased considerably. This was motivated by the crisis caused by the Covid19 pandemic.

In other posts we have analysed in detail which are the main sources of user concern in this respect. However, it is useful to know what actions can be taken to cushion the consequences of these events.

Who can be affected by negative internet content?

The Internet increases vulnerability to certain risks, especially those that threaten personal image or reputation. And indeed any user can be exposed to this depending on his or her practices on the internet.

However, a study conducted by EXprimeNet found that certain user profiles tend to have more complications due to exposure to negative content that links to them.

For example, at least 45% of people requesting removal of negative content from the internet are professionals.. They are concerned about the possibility of their careers being affected, especially when it comes to sexual content.

Incidence of professionals demanding removal of negative content

In consideration of the data obtained in 2021, there has been an increase in the number of professionals demanding the removal of negative content from the internet that is harmful to them.

But the category of "professional" can encompass a variety of roles. And it is important to know who has been most affected by this cyber risk. According to our research, 85% of the requests come from politicians those who fear a negative assessment of their reputation.

For their part, some professionals ask to do a thorough assessment on the internet to find out if there is any content that could affect them. While others wish to to learn about the impact of the positive reputation that they have at the present time. And by 2022, many of these applications were led by politicians.

Can removing negative content from the internet have legal implications?

Yes, removing negative content from the internet is a complicated request. And in some cases it ends up resulting in legal involvement in order to obtain a fair and just solution.

In fact, at least 25% of the cases where deletion of negative content is requested culminate in court proceedings. And the handling of these cases is very interesting.

According to our study, at least 75% of the cases culminate in a legal claimBut not all of them are formalised into a court case. This is a process that involves a lot of expense and often takes a long time to reach a formal agreement.

Under consideration, 15% of the cases end in trial and 10% of the cases reflect the channelling of a settlement during the trial. All of this allows us to explore a slightly more complex situation that demonstrates that the removal of harmful content on the internet is not a simple task.

Why is this a complicated process?

Considering the consequences that often result from the exposure of harmful content, it is understood that the importance of obtaining a timely resolution and which allows for the protection of victims.

But there are other important aspects to this issue, which are the elements involved that can often complicate such processes. For example, the imposition of maintaining as much accessibility as possible to the information found on the internet.

Y freedom of expression is also involved in this.It is a right to which many appeal. This situation has been quite controversial in recent years, trying to understand how to maintain a much more efficient management in order to amortise the damages.

Main processes for removing negative content

This situation should be handled with the advice of experts specialised in the current regulations for controlling the exposure of harmful content on the internet. But from our research we have found some solutions that can be accessed to remove negative content.

Internet data deletion

On a technical level, this process is known as a takedown in respect of publication. It can only be carried out when it can be demonstrated that the content actually infringes any of the regulations in force.

Generally, such a request arises when the affected party considers that his or her rights are being violated. And it can be requested by both users and companies, the relationship of this with trying to take care of reputation and image is often latent.

Remove negative content from the internet

Anonymisation of content

Some people who are in the business of sharing sensitive content on the internet, which can often affect third parties, are careful not to violate regulations. And for this, they may even maintain anonymity.

But what does this consist of? Basically, not showing the real identity of those involved, but replacing it with their initials. In some cases it is even possible to use a pseudonym.

Content de-indexing

Another solution that can be assigned to remove negative content is de-indexing. This means that the publication is no longer accessible from internet searchesThis may reduce their impact in the media.

However, the content could still be viewed by sharing the link that redirects to the portal where it is posted. It is also an IT process that many companies use in an attempt to mitigate possible damage.

Is there a law protecting privacy?

In Spain there is Organic Law 3/2018, of 5 December, on the Protection of Personal Data and the guarantee of digital rights. This regulation seeks to provide protection for the circulation of users' personal data.

It is very important to recognise this resource, as this issue has been very relevant in Spain. Finally, from our research we determined that Madrid is the autonomous community with the most requests to remove negative content from the Internet, with 60%.