Chris Quinn: We're expanding Cleveland.com's right-to-be-forgotten experiment
We launched our right-to-be-forgotten experiment two months ago and began fielding requests from people to remove their identities from cleveland.com stories about minor crimes they committed.
So far, we've taken five names out of stories.
One was someone who had been in the health field and stole some drugs from her employer. A judge eventually declared that she not only had completed her sentence but had completely rehabilitated herself. He sealed records of her crime so she could move on with her life, meaning you could not find the records today.
She lost her license to work in her healthcare field, but as she sought to begin a new career, any Google search of her name brought up our stories about her crime, along with her mug shot.
Another was a man who stole some scrap metal years ago, completed his sentence and had his record sealed. Yet our story dogged him.
Our thinking, as I explained in July, is that people should not have to pay for a mistake for the rest of their lives. Because cleveland.com is so big, our content appears high in search engines, meaning that if we published a story about a minor crime you committed, our story often would be the first thing to appear in searches of your name.
In the old days, a story about a minor crime would appear on a newspaper page and quickly begin to fade from memory. It did not haunt you for the rest of time.
Our policy these last two months has been that we would remove names from stories if the records of the crimes had been sealed by a judge and did not involve violence, sex crimes or public corruption.