News sites have taken down stories about 13-year-old Malia Obama, one of U.S. President Barack Obama's daughters, Mediaite reported.
The stories focused on Malia Obama's spring break trip to Mexico, Mediaite explained , listing " the Telegraph‘s, The Huffington Post, Free Republic, and Global Grind" all as sites that "pulled" stories about the trip from its website. The Blaze noted that Free Republic didn't just take down its story but also replaced it with a note "Leave the kids alone."
POLITICO added the Agence France Presse, Yahoo, The Daily Mail and the Australian as sites that took down stories. iMediaEthics notes that Australian news site News.com.au appears to have taken down a story as well.
The Blaze published screenshots of the original and missing stories. In an update, the Blaze reported that the Montreal Gazette published a story on Malia Obama's vacation "attributed to the AFP," which coincidentally has removed its story.
According to POLITICO, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama's communications director explained:
"From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls."
Buzzfeed noted that POLITICO took down some information from its story on the removal of stories when it updated to add comments from the White House. According to Buzzfeed, POLITICO said it "adjusted the post for security reasons" and took down details like where Malia Obama was.
Meanwhile, after an earthquake in Mexico March 20, the White House did issue a statement that Malia Obama "is safe and was never in danger."
According to the New York Times, historically, "major media outlets in the United States have generally abstained from" reporting on the children of presidents as "part of a longstanding, informal pact between the White House and the press corps that covers it."
The New York Times explained that "even with the advent of the Internet, the informal understanding has held up realtively well."
We have written to Agence France Presse for more information and will update with any response.