InternetErasure.co.uk (an Ex-seed initiative) has success in advocating on behalf of people with criminal records to remove (deindex) historic articles, blogs and social media commentary.
You can also DO THIS YOURSELF by applying to search engines to remove information which is inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant (out of date), excessive or where it is interfering with your privacy and personal life.
Our proven process for doing this is as follows:
1) Prepare a word document in which to copy (ctrl-c) and paste (ctrl-v) all those links which are detrimental to you.
2) Search your name in Google, Yahoo and Bing including all the different spellings and layouts of your name.
3) Search again with your name followed by your town, eg ‘John Smith Bournemouth’.
4) Search again with your name followed by conviction, eg ‘John Smith Conviction’, or ‘Sally Jones Fraud’.
5) Below are the links to the relevant reporting pages on the three primary search engines.
6) Upload current photo id and ensure that the search terms include your exact name as shown on your id.
7) Include text similar to the following and personalised to you.
Spend a little time on this, the most successful submissions are those which clearly explain the impact the links are having on your life and address how they are no longer in the public interest (i.e. out of date, irrelevant or inaccurate (best to evidence inaccuracies)).
"The continued publication of these links is having a severely detrimental effect on my life both personally and professionally.
I am not a public figure but rather a private individual; as an individual, the links are having a disproportionately negative privacy impact on myself and my family and my ability to live a normal life. It is becoming apparent that these links also present a risk to my personal safety
I finished my prison sentence and completed my time on licence successfully. I have now lived a crime free life for many years as a decent member of society. Criminal records data is of the highest sensitivity, the crime I was involved in happened more than 7 years ago and the links are now out of date, irrelevant and their continued publication can no longer legitimately or reasonably be justified as being in the public interest."
Google has a character limit of 1000, Yahoo and Bing have character limits of 500, https://charactercounttool.com/ is helpful when editing.
8) The Information Commissioner ICO also act, if/when search engines fail to remove links to personal information about an individual, where they should do so under Right to Erasure (aka Right to be Forgotten).
It is not uncommon for search engines to fail to remove links after the first request, when this happens register a complaint with ICO (https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/search-results/) , they will then investigate and in many cases, the search engine acts to remove them swiftly thereafter.
Disclosure of Unspent Convictions:
Removing search engine and social media information is not to avoid disclosure of criminal convictions which is often a legal requirement.
Disclosure to potential employers (and to some financial services providers such as insurers and mortgage lenders) is compulsory for everyone who has an unspent conviction and is asked the question of whether they have any criminal convictions.
Removal of search engine results is more to avoid people discovering an often one-sided telling of your past when it is not necessary for them to know and to avoid those people pre-judging you or your employer.
The types of people you may not want to read the links could include work colleagues who are not part of the hiring process or your managers, it may also include customers, friends and neighbours.
None of us should be judged solely on our past mistakes, especially when lessons have been learnt and we are determined not to make the same mistakes again.