Tag Archives: url

Serene Branson: The Sun changes its story – but not the URL

Serene Branson Grammys Stroke story 3am

It appears last week’s guidance from the PCC on correcting URLs as well as the contents of stories has not reached The Sun. Serene Branson’s on-air slurring was initially mocked by the tabloid with the headline “Grammy’s reporter goes gaga”. When it emerged that the presenter may have* suffered from a stroke the article was rewritten – but not the URL:

sun_SereneBranson_URL

The Daily Record, meanwhile, have changed their URL as well as the headline (or their content management system has done it for them). 3am haven’t changed anything (see image at top).

A further issue occurs here too: comments posted on the original Sun story remain, but now – under a now more sober report – these appear insensitive.

More recent commenters can be seen criticising these older comments, and without any notice on the article that it has been updated, those commenting under their real names could argue that their reputations are being damaged as a result.

Certainly there’s an ethical issue here: if you change a story so substantially that original comments now no longer apply, should you remove them?

Via Dave Lee, whose post ‘Serene Branson: The disturbing viral that shames us all‘ should also be read.

*UPDATE: The station website says she was examined by paramedics but not hospitalized. “Her vital signs were normal” and “she says that she is feeling fine this morning”.

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PCC gets SEO in new ruling on online corrections


Mirror URL which could land them in court

More from the PCC following yesterday’s Twitter ruling: new guidance on online corrections shows a surprising awareness of search engine optimisation techniques.

Among other points of the guidance are that:

  • “Care must be taken that the URL of an article does not contain information that has been the subject of successful complaint. If an article is amended, then steps should be taken to amend the URL, as necessary.
  • “Online corrections and apologies should be tagged when published to ensure that they are searchable.”

The guidance addresses a recurring problem with news reports which are corrected after subs see sense – but whose HTML and URL continue to display information which could land the publisher in court – for example that shown in the image above (from here) and below, from this post.(Thanks to Martin Belam for finding the main image) – if you can recall the others, let me know.

UPDATE: Thanks to Malcolm Coles for pointing me to some prime candidates at the end of this Robots.txt file

UPDATE 2: Here’s another one from Malcolm: even newspapers who change their URL can still be found out.

Daily Mail article - corrected text, but original HTML