NPR Retracts Story That Did Not Meet Its Standards

Apr 11, 2018
Originally published on April 11, 2018 9:06 pm
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Now, we need to tell you about some mistakes made by NPR in a story that aired last week. We reported about a man who says he spent $100,000 to have things that were written about him removed from Google search results.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

NPR has retracted that story because it did not meet our standards. In the report, we referred to one individual as the author of a website that another person said had posted defamatory information about him. We also described the author's motivation as vindictive. But NPR did not contact the alleged author, and upon review, NPR cannot say for certain who the author or authors were or what their motivation was.

KELLY: In fact, in court proceedings, the people cited as the authors were only identified by initials, and we have not been able to establish their identities. In addition, our account made it sound as if the website targeted a single individual. That website, though, included information and commentary about at least 12 other people. The reporting mistakes we made substantially undercut the story and have led us to remove it from NPR's digital platforms. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.