Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander gives a fascinating overview of the problems faced by news organisations when readers ask them to “unpublish” content online – particularly archived stories or for legal reasons. It’s from earlier this week, but well worth a read. What’s the best practice for this procedure and is the industry thinking about the issue enough?
I’m not entirely comfortable with policies that cause public information to automatically disappear from a website, even if it involves a misdemeanor. This kind of information, typically found through a Google search, may lack context. But once information is in the public domain, it should live on. It’s part of the historical record and should be accessible.