How to remove criminal record from Google
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What options are available if you need to remove a criminal record from Google
It is common to find that most people when they were younger, did certain things that they may upon reflection now regret. They might have wronged people or made them upset. Guilty as charged. It is impossible to turn back the wheels of time, however, and usually, most people mature and move on to better and greater things.
What do you do if one day on Google you stumble across an indiscretion from 10, 20, or 30 years ago that triggers wreaking havoc on your family life, your business, your achievements, your good name? This indiscretion from your past could resurface in many forms, because someone causes it, in order to destroy everything you have worked for. Before the existence of the internet, it would have been relatively easy to put the past behind you. In the pre-internet days, it would have been almost inconceivable for someone, especially someone from another country, to make a comeback into your life and systematically start destroying it. Now circumstances and accessibility have changed dramatically, and shadows from the past can haunt you almost to the grave.
This is possible with the click of a button using current technology. Our client, let’s call him Frank Backerfield, was a successful English entrepreneur. Almost out of the blue, he experienced an incident from his past making a nasty reappearance for the sole purpose of completely destroying him.
You see, when Frank was younger, he used to be...well, let’s call him a playboy. A handsome devil, he described himself to us, who used to travel around the world telling rich women that he loved them when actually he just wanted to have some fun or spend their money. Apparently, he left a number of broken-hearted women crying their eyes out in fancy hotel rooms, expecting them to pay the bills and forget about him as quickly as they had fallen in love with him. His conduct would have been totally unacceptable to him today, and he has since reformed in many ways, including taking steps to support victims of similar crimes, which he has been doing to this day. At the time, none of the parties involved believed they would ever meet again.
Most of the women he engaged with had no desire to ever hear his name again, let alone reunite. After a number of years of messing around, and having banked a criminal conviction which resulted in a jail term Frank had had enough and decided to go straight. With his little savings, he opened a small nightclub. He managed it so successfully that within a couple of years, it was earning him a fortune. He then opened four more clubs around London and eventually became an established and respected figure in the London entertainment scene.
Frank even got married to a lady from Middlesex, who knew all about his past and they lived in harmony with their four children in a lovely Essex country home. Then one day, Frank received a phone call from a trusted friend, asking him if he knew a lady by the name of Laura Park, from Toronto, Canada. The name did ring a bell, but Frank was unable to recollect specific details. The friend then advised Frank to do an internet search of his name. It had been ages since Frank had used the internet. Normally his wife or one of his assistants would deal with the internet for him, as he was very busy and felt that going online was a waste of time.
Recently, Frank (not his real name) carried out a search on Google, and to his astonishment, he discovered that Laura Park had written several blog posts about him and had even published a book (available on Amazon) called something like How My Life Was Changed Following My Short Encounter With The Fraudster Frank Backerfield. In her blogs and her self-published book, Laura Park described her encounter with Frank some 25 years earlier and how he allegedly deceived her to sleep with him and caused her to leave her husband and her two children, only to be dumped by him within a fortnight. She described Frank as a living monster, a fraud, a con man.
She disclosed his old criminal conviction and declared very openly that her intention was to destroy him, and she made a "personal commitment" to turn everything Frank had ever created into ashes. Unbeknown to Frank, Laura Park’s campaign had been going on for a number of years.
She had posted personal videos on YouTube, Blogger and other websites. She had created dozens of blogs and websites of her own and had told her story in every possible forum on the internet. But it was only after Google changed its algorithm that her blogs started to appear on the internet whenever Frank Backerfield’s name was searched within the UK. Initially, Frank ignored the campaign against him and continued to focus on his business and on his charitable work.
But as inquisitive telephone calls mounted from friends, family, and business associates, and as the pressure from his wife grew, he decided he needed to do something. His business started to suffer, and he could not stand to be labeled a fraudster to the world. He had no choice but to take action. But fixing the mess would not be easy. Frank’s old victim was now devoting her whole life trying to destroy Frank. She lived outside the jurisdiction of the English courts and was posting all her claims on websites located outside the UK. To add to the problem, the quantity of the material was very great and much of it was true. That meant that a major clean-up operation was required, a very challenging task.
Most people in Frank’s situation would consider the question of how to remove criminal records from Google as the only solution to their devastating situation. However, you should always keep an open mind and consider all available options and strategies. The best way to deal with this sort of menace is to take a very systematic approach and start the clean-up operation from scratch.
As there was no point in trying to persuade Laura Park to stop her campaign, we decided to begin an online PR campaign, that was aimed to restore Frank’s reputation and to make sure that the vacuum left by search links which we managed to disabled, was filled with plenty of positive articles, blogs, videos and information about Frank. The campaign was focused on the acceptance of responsibility by Frank for his actions from the past and on his charitable work. He used the opportunity to revisit his own conduct and to raise awareness about the consequences of young people involved in crime.
He used the opportunity to write and talk about the rehabilitation of offenders, entrepreneurship and about the need by society to give people a second chance. His candid videos on YouTube about his past conduct, his regrets, and the many years he had spent in rehabilitation himself, had been a huge success. He managed to secure the support of his family and friends and then, that of many of the people who initially felt strongly about his past conduct. The PR online campaign was a success, in that, that it managed to first deflect the negative impact of the reputation attack and then by helping Frank gain support from members of the public. Frank’s reputation was eventually restored and the risk to his well-being and to his financial interests was removed.
Eventually, with the right to be forgotten, it became possible to remove all traces to references of Frank’s criminal record from Google. However, as his PR campaign had been so successful and his involvement with various charities, has inspired hundreds of young people who had been struggling to rehabilitate themselves from previous criminal convictions, Frank saw no need to take action to remove reference to his criminal record, which in any event, had become nearly impossible to find on search engines.
Case studies are based on true cases where names, dates and circumstances have often been amended to protect the identity of those involved.