Mail Online publishes child rape victim's first name, apologizes

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The UK Mail Online included the first name of a child rape victim in a news story, a major breach of journalism ethics. This error made it possible to identify the child, the UK press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation ruled.

The July 2017 Mail Online article reported on the accused rapist’s trial. The Survivors’ Network, a UK charity focused on helping sexual violence victims, complained to the regulator IPSO about the article, saying that in addition to naming the child, the article included “an unnecessary amount of information.” The Mail Online told IPSO that it was a “human error” that led to the name being included in the article. But then, the newspaper compounded its error by insisting that the child was not made identifiable by its own ethical breach.

Nonetheless, according to IPSO, the Mail Online apologized privately to the victim’s family and donated to charity to rectify the error. In addition, it deleted the child’s name and removed some of the details from the article.

iMediaEthics has contacted both the Survivors’ Network and the Mail Online to ask what details were removed from the article. We’ve also asked the Mail Online which charity it donated to, and contacted IPSO to confirm the Survivors’ Network was acting on behalf of the victim.

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Mail Online publishes child rape victim’s first name, an ethics breach

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