Dave’s story shows how it is possible to get your convictions removed from internet and newspaper websites. He sets out below how he went about it.
Quite a few years ago, I ended up with a conviction, which was reported in the local newspapers and resulted in my name appearing on search engine results.
I totally understand that I need to pay for my mistake; however, whilst I am thoroughly ashamed of what happened I have moved on and managed to get my life back on track.
I’m now married with children and just want a second chance but I do understand that the victims of my crime may not feel the same way.
Although my conviction was spent, my name still appeared when you typed it into search engines. It really worried me and I hated the thought of the articles being available on the web. I discussed this with a few people who I trusted and most of them knew the articles existed but had never said anything to me. I’m not sure why they didn’t mention it – I believe it says a lot about the person I am today. They know the person I am now and took no notice of the historic newspaper articles.
I decided to contact the search engines and the local newspapers asking them to remove my name from the internet. When I contacted the papers and search engines I explained that:
- The conviction which had occurred ten years ago was firmly in the past. I now had a family and was moving on with my life.
- I was genuinely sorry about the mistake I had made.
- I would be willing to meet up with newspaper editors to talk about my conviction in person to enable them to satisfy themselves that I was genuine in my remorse.
As a result of my letters both the newspapers and the search engines agreed to remove either the article or links to my name.
I really feel that by being remorseful and sorry for my conviction and offering to meet editors, it helped to show how I had turned my life around. I don’t believe that going in heavy handed, quoting the law and relying on the fact that my conviction was spent would have gotten me anywhere.
I feel like a big dark cloud has been lifted, giving me a new lease of life.
By Dave (name changed to protect identity)
A comment from Unlock
Dave’s story demonstrates how you can succeed in getting links and stories removed from the internet.
By showing genuine remorse for your past actions and evidencing how you have moved on, it is possible to convince newspapers and search engine providers that your links should no longer be live. Character references from organisations or local professionals can assist in evidencing what you’ve achieved since your conviction.
- Comment – Let us know your thoughts n this post by commenting below
- Information – We have practical self-help information on the ‘google-effect’ – internet search results and the right to be forgotten
- Policy work – Read about the work Unlock is doing on stopping the ‘google-effect’ for people with spent convictions