Ruling

Resolution Statement 00315-17 Kelly v Mail Online

    • Date complaint received

      30th March 2017

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy, 2 Privacy

Complaint 00315-17 Kelly v Mail Online

Summary of complaint

1. Rashael Kelly complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Mail Online breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Three taken to hospital and one arrested after Jamaican dancehall party on a boat in the Thames erupts into violence”, published on 15 January 2017.

2. The complainant expressed concern that the publication had inaccurately reported that violence had erupted at her boat party. She said that she had bought a ticket to the event, but it was not her party.  She also said that the article had inaccurately stated that she was a model and worked for a promotions company, and that the event was a “Jamaican dancehall” party. In addition, she expressed concern that the publication had published private photographs and videos, which it had taken from her Instagram account without permission. She said the inaccurate article had been widely shared on social media.

3. The publication apologised for any upset the article had caused. It said that the reporter had misinterpreted comments made on social media by the complainant’s cousin and a promotions company, and the images had been taken from a social media account that was open to the public. To resolve the matter, the publication removed all references to the complainant from the article, including the images and video; it removed the words “Jamaican” and “dancehall”; and it offered to append the following wording:

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the event was Rashael Kelly’s birthday party and that she is a student and model, and works for a promotional company called Loud Entertainment. We apologise for the errors and any upset caused.

Relevant Code provisions

4. Clause 1 (Accuracy)

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.

Clause 2 (Privacy)

i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.

ii) Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. Account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information.

iii) It is unacceptable to photograph individuals, without their consent, in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Mediated outcome

5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.

6. The publication offered to write a private letter of apology to the complainant, and to make a payment to her as a gesture of goodwill.

7. The complainant accepted the publication’s offer as a resolution to her complaint.

8. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.

Date complaint received: 16/01/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 16/03/2017