Embarcadero Media will consider requests to remove a name or an article from our online archives under certain circumstances. The following factors will be evaluated:
For requests involving criminal cases:
In general, the name of a defendant will never be removed if he/she was convicted of a violent felony or a felony (and misdemeanors originally charged as felonies) involving fraud, extortion or similar crimes.
In general, if the conviction was for a misdemeanor crime other than as described above, the defendant was under 25 years old at the time of the incident, the incident occurred more than five years ago, the person is not a public figure and there are no special circumstances, the name of a defendant will be removed.
The name of a defendant who is arrested but never charged by the district attorney will generally be removed from a story written about the arrest.
Requests involving civil cases will be handled similarly.
For stories unrelated to criminal and civil cases:
Embarcadero Media editors retain full discretion in granting (or not granting) these removals.
The reasons for our policy:
The use of internet search engines by employers and others to investigate the backgrounds of individuals exposes people whose name was published in our newspapers or websites to indefinite public exposure.
Unlike in the past, when editions of print newspapers were not easily retrievable or searchable, any story we publish online now remains easily available to search engines on the internet. In an even more unfair twist, a person with an unusual name will suffer disproportionately compared to someone with a common name, as an article with his/her name will likely appear at the top of a list of search results.
This policy is designed to balance the public's interest in accessing information about an individual whose name was deemed worthy of reporting at the time with the ability of a person to not be indefinitely subjected to potentially damaging or undesirable publicity arising out of an event that took place in the past.