Everyone, at some point in time, has wanted something off the internet about them. For most people it’s a picture or a comment they didn’t think would gather that much attention. Then, there are professional people who live and die by reviews. Getting a bad review can have serious negatives effects on an artists. While many artists and professionals understand there is always a possibility of a bad review, Croatian pianist Dejan Lazic doesn’t want to his negative review to hold him back anymore.
The question becomes: can one remove an online review? In the United States, no. In Europe, yes. Under the European Union’s “right to be forgotten” ruling The Post explains that individuals may allow “inadequate, irrelevant, or…excessive” links to be removed from search engine results.
That’s all well and good, but the review is written by the Washington Post, which makes the whole situation a little more confusing, on top of whether someone should even be allowed to remove a negative review of their performance.
Lazic explains it isn’t about covering up the truth, saying, “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.” He claims it is about controlling one’s personal image. He even calls the review “Defamatory, mean-spirited, opinionated, one-sided, offensive and simply irrelevant for the arts.”
The actual review is not all that harsh. You can read the original review by Anne Midgette and see that she isn’t one-sided or offensive. She claims, “I tried to make it very clear in my review that I thought this was a pianist of significant ability, and for that I thought he could do better than he did.”
The real question, somewhat disturbingly perhaps, is whether people have the right to edit what is said online about them. The positives are clear, that any slanderous lies can be removed, but removing a critics professional article because it is negative doesn’t exactly seem fair.
So tell us your thoughts on all of this. Is Lazic in the right, or is he just creating more bad press for himself. Even if you don’t agree with them, does the “right to be forgotten” ruling legally allow him to remove this post? And how could this affect the music industry if this ruling is adopted in the United States as well?