For example, there was an infamous case in the UK a few year ago when a paediatrician -- a doctor who specialises in helping children -- was run out of their home by vigilantes who were too stupid to know the difference between a paediatrician and a paedophile.
So, you're arguing that due to English schtupidity (pronounce as Clarkson), Google should conceal factually correct data from being discovered while it is perfectly visible elsewhere on the web?
in reality the people accessing information on the Internet are only human, and in reality even well-meaning people may come across incorrect or misleading information and make judgements based on it without realising they were in error. That means sometimes it does make sense to conceal information, at least partially or for a limited period of time, in order to protect other humans from unfair harm.
No disagreement there.
I believe everyone has a basic moral right to fair treatment in this respect, particularly because the damage to a wronged individual if that right is violated will be far greater than the damage to someone who just didn't trivially find out about some possibly incorrect allegations.
And this is the part where it becomes interesting. Remember what is happening here. Google is a search engine, an indexer of information that is readily available elsewhere. If the Guardian reports about child-abuse allegations against John Doe, and Mr Doe is acquitted in court, the report about the allegations are still correct. You're arguing that Google should no longer be allowed to produce search results that link to the original allegations. I'm arguing that this is a silly way of handling things. If one would really want to protect the acquitted, the law should mandate that the article be amended with information regarding the acquittal.
Obscuring the fact that the original allegation was made by passing laws against an indexing service smells like Chinese Censorship to me, and I find that to be a dangerous slippery slope.
I also note that the justice systems in almost every civilised country take a similar view, often such that even actual criminal convictions become "spent" after a time and no longer need to be disclosed. It turns out that sometimes people do change and that encouraging the successful rehabilitation of past offenders makes that much more likely than leaving them with some minor infraction hanging over them for the rest of their lives.
Totally agree there. But my point remains valid: in such a case the origin of the information should be affected, not the indexer. And also, most criminal convictions will stay on the record (especially in the case of felonies), but won't be taken into account (or to a lesser extent) when performing a background check. In my former home country (The Netherlands) that usually means 4 years for infractions, 8 years for felonies. The record itself stays and the individual can go to the courthouse to see the rapsheet, but it will not be disclosed to anyone.
I assume that in yours my freedom of movement also extends to the right to enter your home and my freedom of expression extends to the right to spray paint abusive comments all over it?
You have the freedom of movement that extends to the border of my properties. Your freedom of expression extends to the right to say whatever you want. Spray painting is not free speech, that would be infringement on my property rights. I think it was Thomas Jefferson who once said:
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.