“The pianist Dejan Lazic, like many artists and performers, is occasionally the subject of bad reviews,” writes Caitlin Dewey in Friday’s (10/31) Washington Post. “But because Lazic lives in Europe, where in May the European Union ruled that individuals have a ‘right to be forgotten’ online … on Oct. 30, he sent The Washington Post a request to remove a 2010 review by Post classical music critic Anne Midgette that—he claims—has marred the first page of his Google results for years. It’s the first request The Post has received under the E.U. ruling. It’s also a truly fascinating, troubling demonstration of how the ruling could work. ‘To wish for such an article to be removed from the internet has absolutely nothing to do with censorship or with closing down our access to information,’ Lazic explained in a follow-up e-mail to The Post. Instead, he argued, it has to do with control of one’s personal image—control of, as he puts it, ‘the truth.’ … We ought to live in a world, Lazic argues, where everyone—not only artists and performers but also politicians and public officials—should be able to edit the record according to their personal opinions and tastes.”

Posted November 3, 2014