Is Google scanning and removing Saved user links?

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 1, 2023
Google
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For some time now, Google users have had the option to save links as collections using Google Saved. The feature, which is not linked to the Bookmarks feature, can be compared to Microsoft Edge's Collections feature or sites such as Pinterest.

Signed-in Google users may check their collections and saved items on the Web. There, they also have options to manage items and collections, and to add new links to a collection. Most Google users come into contact with Saved when they use the Google application on Android. A Saved tab is displayed prominently in the app.

Items may also be saved from Google applications, including Google Maps. If Google Maps is used to save places, all of these places and collections appear in Saved.

A report on Torrentfreak suggests that Google has started to remove items from user collections. According to the provided information, Google appears to remove saved items if they have been blocked by Google Search.

The most common cause for the blocking of items in Google Search is a DCMA takedown notice. Google removes URLs from its search engine when it receives these takedown notices. Common examples include URLs that point to filesharing sites and specific items, e.g., a movie, music album or game, that is available for sharing on the resource.

DCMA takedown requests are sometimes misused or send out erroneously. False positives are not uncommon and examples of takedown requests for unrelated URLs are found in abundance on the Web.

Torrentfreak received an email from a Google user who had one of their items removed from a collection saved earlier. The site then replicated the issue and discovered that items blocked on Google Search could not be added to collections anymore.

Attempts to replicate this behavior using a standard Google account were not successful, however. I was able to add several URLs to a saved collection, using the web service, and Google did not prevent the adding to a collection and did not remove the item afterwards. While that may still happen, results are ambiguous right now.

One possible explanation for this could be that Google is removing links only in certain regions. Not all DCMA takedown requests ask for global takedowns, and there is also the question of local laws that may protect user data.

In any event, Google users may want to save links elsewhere as well for backup purposes. This can be the bookmarks of the used web browser, or, better, using a solution that is not linked to an online account.

Google users who want to check out their saved items or test, whether Google is letting them add items that are blocked in Google Search, may open the https://www.google.com/save?authuser=0 webpage to find out about that.

Now You: do you use the Saved feature?

Summary
Is Google scanning and removing Saved user links?
Article Name
Is Google scanning and removing Saved user links?
Description
A report suggests that Google may be removing saved URLs from user accounts, if the links are using the Saved collections feature.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:33 pm
    Reply

    “Do you use Google Photos?”

    I do; I find it impossible not to use Google Photos on the Android phone; nevertheless, the “memory” feature is sort of neat. I’ve seen photos from a couple of years ago that that offer glimpses into the long-ago, forgotten past. It’s a lot like reviewing journal writing. “What was I doing and such and such a date?”

    And, I think, when the “memories” are sorted and positioned, one can create a mini-collage with up to eight photos.

    It’s so much easier to share photos with people rather than journal entries.

    Nifty!

  2. John G. said on August 16, 2023 at 8:57 pm
    Reply

    I delete the photos after 1 month of being taken. All of them are erased to return to the black and silent nothingness. Only the best ones are printed and placed in a very nice site at home. :]

    1. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 10:33 am
      Reply

      I should buy a Chromebook.
      None of the big tech companies are good but at least Google are the least dishonest and morally bankrupt of them. They’re always trying to do the right thing if the money allow it.

  3. Tachy said on August 19, 2023 at 5:15 pm
    Reply

    In reply to “https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/19/google-keep-is-getting-a-version-history-but-only-on-the-web/” since the website has gone insane and no one can know where thier comment ends up.

    This app should be called “Google Keeps it”. Because, they do.

    I use Color Notes. No syncing, no internet, just local.

  4. said on August 22, 2023 at 3:19 pm
    Reply

    The article said: “[…] positive outcomes of genocide…”. Perhaps the AI was actually discussing the benefits of reading a “Scroll of genocide” … “You feel dead inside.”.

    Martin, this post reply is supposed to belong: [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/22/googles-ai-search-generates-horribly-misleading-answers/] (given the the database is faulty it could appear anywhere or nowhere).

  5. John said on August 22, 2023 at 3:46 pm
    Reply

    I have yet to be impressed with AI of any kind. I think it’s overhyped and not ready to live up to it.

  6. Seeprime said on August 22, 2023 at 8:36 pm
    Reply

    How to use AI: Avoid the artificial stupidity at all times.

  7. Richard Steven Hack said on August 23, 2023 at 3:54 am
    Reply

    “When searched “Why guns are good,” it also prompted questionable responses, including potentially questionable statistics and reasoning. ”

    Based on whose reasoning? These sorts of assertions are generally bullcrap intended to advance an agenda. If you don’t like guns, say so. Meanwhile, there are 400 million firearms in the US owned by close to a third of the population and around 20 million carry concealed.

    So your opinion is not shared by a LOT of people who either enjoy firearm spots or are concerned about self-defense or both.

    1. Seeprime said on August 31, 2023 at 10:07 pm
      Reply

      Wow. Ghacks still hasn’t fixed the broken comments system where old comments from a different article appear. Sad to see you slowly turn to dust since the buyout.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:40 am
        Reply

        @Seeprime,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        https://www.ghacks.net/windows-11-update-stuck-fixed-for-good/#comment-4572991
        https://www.ghacks.net/windows-11-update-stuck-fixed-for-good/#comment-4572951
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

      2. Kirk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:08 pm
        Reply

        This guns comment came up in the Pixel watch repair post and I was bewildered as to what was the connection between the two.

  8. gogo said on August 23, 2023 at 5:12 am
    Reply

    goog = skynet
    “human beings” = \slaves\

  9. no said on August 23, 2023 at 3:51 pm
    Reply

    This info is so NOT correct.
    I so do not want google in my life that I have NEVER downloaded chrome and I do NOT have ANY google accounts.
    My browser is set to clear all cookies, cache and history every time I close it, which is every day, and I still get these world takeover login prompts on every site I go to.
    So I CANT go to google accounts and turn it off.
    If this info were truly accurate I wouldnt be getting these pop ups AT ALL.

  10. John G. said on August 31, 2023 at 3:49 pm
    Reply

    Thanks @Ashwin for the article! :]

  11. Scroogled said on September 1, 2023 at 11:31 pm
    Reply

    Anyone who continues to use these big tech scum’s cloud services deserves what they get.

  12. Tom Hawack said on September 4, 2023 at 2:44 pm
    Reply

    Given Ghacks’ comments’ database problems I precise :
    I’m commenting the article “Google is in trouble with YouTube Shorts – gHacks Tech News” by Emre Çitak
    at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/04/googles-youtube-shorts-problem/]

    About the article’s question, “What do you think about YouTube Shorts?” (BTW first time I read here any other writer other than Martin Brinkmann directly asks the audience it’s opinion, and that’s just fine) :

    YouTube Shorts may suit smartphones (which I don’t use) but on a PC they are not my cup of tea, to put it mildly.
    From what I read a bit everywhere, opinions are shared : love or hate. For those who dislike many scripts and dedicated browser extensions have been developed to handle them (removal or redirect to standard video display).

    I don’ view YouTube videos on YouTube but via a Piped or a Piped-Material YouTube front-end instance and these offer on search results and on channels the option to view Videos-Shorts-Livestreams-Playlists-Channels ; well, I practically never open the ‘Shorts’ display. I don’t like shorts (except in summer, hmm), I dislike the concept, fast-videos after fast-food, fast, faster … to bring what? Emptiness, IMO

    Does that answer your question, @Emre Çitak :)

  13. ECJ said on September 4, 2023 at 3:17 pm
    Reply

    I despise YouTube Shorts. So much in fact, I use custom adblock rules in Brave Shields to remove that crap.

    youtube.com##ytd-grid-video-renderer:has([href*=”shorts”])
    youtube.com###dismissible:has([href*=”shorts”])

    1. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 6:28 am
      Reply

      There’s an extension for Firefox and Chrome browsers called “Youtube-shorts block”, re-opens the video in a normal window. :)

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/youtube-shorts-block/
      https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/youtube-shorts-block/jiaopdjbehhjgokpphdfgmapkobbnmjp

      ps. say NO to Shorts, it only encourage shooting vertical-videos which doesn’t go well with many desktop displays… except when shooting vertical objects, such as ahem… pretty ladies. :)

  14. RG said on September 4, 2023 at 5:02 pm
    Reply

    Page source shows that ghacks is still using WordPress as the platform. Knowing, more or less, how it works at the DB level I am not sure how one could mess up comments this badly. It is actually very difficult.

  15. John G. said on September 4, 2023 at 6:14 pm
    Reply

    Google is the big leader of everything. Indeed it can actually buy Amazon, Disney, Netflix, X and whatever other company. I wonder what could happen if Google starts to build airspace ships in order to conquer the Moon. I bet that Google would be the first to offer free WiFi at the Moon. Please fix the comments.

    This comment is inside the article:
    [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/04/what-is-google-synthid-and-how-does-it-work/]

  16. DC said on September 11, 2023 at 10:52 am
    Reply

    This “analysis” is disappointingly shallow and trivial. Why not include other factors like job level, responsibilities, full-time/part-time, qualifications, etc.? Because the conclusions probably wouldn’t fit the current leftist/feminist narrative. You don’t find what you don’t look for.

  17. said on September 11, 2023 at 11:42 am
    Reply

    Misleading statistics.

  18. Kris said on September 12, 2023 at 9:10 pm
    Reply

    Wage should be based on the amount of time, works, thinking (brain > muscle), responsibilities etc

    Not skin pigmentation or your genitalia. There could be correlations, but not causations.

  19. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 4:36 pm
    Reply

    “Google maintains that it provides a superior product”

    That is also Mozilla’s official position in defense of Google against the people, on that question of search engine abuse of dominant position by Google.

    The funniest part is that not only it’s false regarding actual competitors, but even among not-actual-competitors there are meta-search engines that use exactly the same engine, just minus the tracking, so Google is clearly the inferior one compared to those already. But maybe what Google is saying is that it is the surveillance and bubbling that would make their engine superior. False again even without considering the damage those do.

  20. bruh said on September 15, 2023 at 10:17 am
    Reply

    “Google increases Chromebook support to 10 years”

    I mean that’s great and all, but imagine using a browser-based, highly internet-dependent OS such as chrome. I’ve never used chromeOS but have seen it in person and read about it, just seems like ultra-limited user experience which relies on the concept that “most things can be done in a browser”.

  21. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 11:11 pm
    Reply

    What is there to support? It just a glorified web browser.

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