Axl Rose and Google Right To Be Forgotten

Axl Rose, the lead singer from Guns and Roses has made a request to google to remove pictures of him which are less than flattering. The pictures are from when Axl was not in great shape, in the words of numerous meme’s on the internet, he had eaten all the pies.

Google does have a service (which they were forced by legislation to provide) where a subject can make a request to remove information about them which is revealed in a google search. This is commonly known as the ‘right to be forgotten’. It can only be used under certain circumstances though, such as the information is incorrect or if it is no longer relevant.

This poses the question, are pictures of Axl Rose looking fat relevant? The answer is, in Google’s mind, yes. Axl Rose is a celebrity. He has made millions of dollars from his image as a wild rock and roll singer. Indeed, if it was not for the paparazzi who take his pictures, he would not have the wide reaching fame that he enjoys (although in fairness, Guns and Roses are/were pretty cool).

To this end, if he wished to retain the image as a skinny wild rock star, he should have not eaten so many pies. The fact he has (or had) eaten lots of pies and then went into public to perform is of course regrettable for him but he is not going to convince Google to remove the images. In fact, by making his request to Google, he has simply highlighted this issue and increased the exposure to the pictures. I had not seen these pictures until the news broke about Axl trying to have the pictures removed.