Earlier this summer, Google started complying with the European Union’s controversial “right to be forgotten” ruling, which lets individuals remove search results about them from Google.
As Stewart Baker from the Steptoe Cyberblog points out, Google’s method of adhering to the ruling gives you a quick way to find out whether Google thinks of you as a public figure.
Here’s how it works:
Because Google is trying to stay transparent, you’ll see the following message when you search for anyone’s name using a European top-level domain (like google.co.uk):
However, you won’t see this message if you search the name of a public figure because Google won’t remove search results for famous people.
As Google put it: “Most name queries are for famous people and such searches are very rarely affected by a removal, due to the role played by these persons in public life, we have made a pragmatic choice not to show this notice by default for known celebrities or public figures.”
So if you want to know whether Google’s algorithms deem you well-known enough to count as a celebrity or public figure, just search your name at google.co.uk. If you don’t see a message about removed results, you’ve made it.