The Boston Globe establishes a committee to review people’s requests to remove real names and facial photos in articles | GLM

The Boston Globe Establishes a Committee to Review People’s Requests to Remove Real Names and Facial Photos in Articles

Read more from Author Rachel Maga here:

The Boston Globe has launched a new program that allows people who find newspaper articles to damage their reputation to request updates or anonymization of the articles. This is reminiscent of the EU’s “right to be forgotten,” but it is unlikely to be controversial. This is because it is different from a content-agnostic search engine because it is related only to the editorial department of the newspaper.

This effort, dubbed “Fresh Start,” isn’t meant to remove bad restaurant reviews or reports of serious crimes, but rather for the most common criminal case articles. For example, there is an article with a face photo written in about 100 words that “everyone was arrested for chaotic acts and resisted the arrest.”

Of course, articles like this serve the purpose of informing readers of local crimes. However, Globe editor Brian McGrory points out:

It was never our intention that a short, relatively insignificant Globe article would affect the future of the general public to whom it was targeted.

Given the criminal justice system, it is our sense that this has an undue impact on people of color. The idea behind this program is to start working on it.

Police officer prejudice testimony turns into genetic prejudice in the press. This is a serious problem that the United States has been working on for decades. But that is exacerbated by the nature of digital recording.

Looking at application documents Employers can find prominent information such as criminal records with a photo of their face by simply searching for their name and a few other details. The media also often talks about low-income arrests, but rarely acquittals or non-indictments of low-income earners. After all, no one clicks on such an article. As a result, the coverage is often incomplete and potentially detrimental to the person in the article.

Attempts in Europe to fix this at the search engine level face opposition and difficulties. Some argue that search engines are not themselves involved in the information that creates the index, and that search engines should not be in a position to decide what should or should not be deleted. The body. In addition, the task can be complicated by the fact that an article can be duplicated, cited tens or thousands of times, or backed up to a site such as the Internet Archive. So what should I do?

At the same time, it certainly doesn’t threaten freedom of speech by asking search engines to limit their searchability, rather than asking them to remove or change their content. The debate is still ongoing.

Globe’s approach isn’t as comprehensive as letting Google “forget” people’s records, but it’s much simpler and less likely to be dissented. Globe, of course, is exercising editorial rights to his article, and the problem isn’t erasing some of the information, but revisiting whether it was newsworthy in the first place.

In announcing a new attempt at Globe, the editor-in-chief of the digital edition, Jason Tuohey, said: “Even if the Fresh Start Committee changes such an article, why will we post a similar article next week?”

The Globe newspaper has set up a committee of 10 to review petition from those seeking updates to the article. It’s important to add that it is an “update” and will never be “deleted”. A similar effort by the previous Cleveland Plain Dealer required people to present a court record-breaking order, but with Globe, there are no legal hurdles.

The fresh start team quickly admits that this will be complicated. Automated and fraudulent demands will surely come in, and public figures will try to demand them for the time being. If evidence is needed to confirm an event or identity, there will be disagreement over what it is. And finally, only one article, or one line, will be changed. And that’s probably after a lot of duplication and archiving on the Internet. But this is the start.

Doing this for just one newspaper may not have a big effect, but if the program is successful, other newspapers may also pay attention. And, as Mr. Tohei pointed out, knowing how much the judicial system has actually declined makes the wisdom of the news media seem to be shaken in the first place. It’s no wonder people want to apply their newly discovered skepticism to past events.


Rachel Maga
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life's biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.