Now Twitter's 'Report' Function Being Used To Disappear Complaint About GDPR Being Used To Disappear Public Court Document

from the so-that's-great dept

Just recently we wrote about how a guy in France, Michael Francois Bujaldon, who had been sued in the US and accused of securities and real estate fraud, had apparently been using the GDPR's right to be forgotten features to get the court docket about this lawsuit deleted from the web (in at least one case) or have his name removed from it (in the other). Our story focused on the situation with the website PlainSite, which is run by Aaron Greenspan and hosts tons of public court dockets. In our comments, it was interesting to note that at least one person seemed hellbent on trashing Greenspan. Greenspan and I have had our own differences throughout the years, and he has been a vocal critic of the way I've covered him in the past, but these comments seemed to go way over the line.

And now, Greenspan informs me that someone is trying to get his original tweet -- which alerted me to this abuse of the GDPR to delete public documents -- disappeared from the internet as well. On Wednesday morning Greenspan discovered that both his PlainSite Twitter account and his personal Twitter account were "limited" due to reports. It's unclear why his personal account was limited, but Twitter told him that his original tweet about Bujaldon violated its rules on "posting personal information."

It is difficult to see how a tweet that simply reads "French scam artist Michael Francois Bujaldon is using the GDPR to attempt to remove traces of his United States District Court case from the internet. He has already succeeded in compelling PacerMonitor to remove his case. We have 24 hours to respond" (and then links to the PlainSite docket) could possibly violate any Twitter rules, but the company told him he needed to delete the tweet in question:

Once again, we're in a situation where if you hand people tools to delete content they dislike -- whether it's a DMCA takedown process, a GDPR "right to be forgotten" or a private platform's "report abuse" button -- some percentage of people are going to abuse that. And, as we've discussed many times, with the private platform decision making process involving overworked, underpaid workers who have to make determinations on each "report" with about 5 seconds to consider the report, many, many mistakes are going to be made. This is yet another one, and is yet another example of why we should be careful about giving people even more tools for deleting content.

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Filed Under: aaron greenspan, content moderation, dockets, erasing history, gdpr, michael francois bujaldon, public information, right to be forgotten, rtbf
Companies: plainsite, twitter


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  1. icon
    Bergman (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:21pm

    Re:

    According to the EU, they have global authority to enforce their laws, regardless of the laws or sovereignty of other nations.

    Historically, any attempt to actually do so is a casus belli that usually leads to war. But the EU insists that in this particular case it's not. Somehow. Because reasons.

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