Agence France Presse labeled photos of Mark Zuckerberg’s executive assistant Andrea Besmehn as photos of his wife, Priscilla Chan.
Christian Otton, the deputy chief editor for North America at Agence France Presse, told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “It was an honest case of mistaken identity.” He said both the photographer and editor “mistook her.” According to Otton, the AFP made the error, not Getty Images, which distributed the photo with the error. The AFP found out about the error, “the same evening after stories came out with detailed info on his executive assistant,” he explained, adding that “We ran corrections the same evening, as soon as we were sure we had made a mistake.”
In captions for the photos on Getty’s website, the website reads:
“The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by JIM WATSON has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Andrea Besmehn (R), Mark Zuckerbergs executive assistant at Facebook] instead of [Priscilla Chan]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)”
Getty Images previously confused Olympic skater Mirai Nagasu and actress Kelly Marie Tran in March, Slate noted. The March mistake was made in captions of the two women at the Academy Awards ceremony. Getty issued a March 5 apology:
“Getty Images sincerely apologizes for the images of Kelly Marie Tran that incorrectly identified her as Olympian Mirai Nagasu and was licensed by customers who trusted the accuracy of the caption information. Getty Images holds itself to a high standard of editorial integrity and has robust measures in place to ensure our content ingestion process upholds these standards. We, like all news agencies, regret when these measures fail to capture an error. We distribute the work of a number of excellent image partners who are also covering major events such as The Oscars and as soon as the caption error was brought to our attention, the caption was amended and the correct images provided to our customers.
“We apologize to Ms Tran and Ms Nagasu for this error and meant no disrespect.”