Ruling

Resolution Statement 05309-18 Dark v express.co.uk

    • Date complaint received

      30th November 2018

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement 05309-18 Dark v express.co.uk

Summary of complaint

1 Jed Dark complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that express.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice in an article headlined "Windows 10 SHOCK: Is Microsoft about to start CHARGING a monthly fee? Stunning claims made" published on 06 August 2018.

2. The article reported that Microsoft were planning to start charging a fee to "help PC fans maintain" Windows 10 and ensure that "PC's running Windows 10 are configured correctly and running smoothly as new updates are released". The article referenced a technology website which reported that the service "Microsoft Managed Desktop" was in development and was believed to be targeted at business users, who would be charged a monthly fee. The article claimed that it remained to be seen whether Microsoft Managed Desktop would also be available to consumer users.

3. The complainant said the article was inaccurate as the headline gave the impression that Microsoft were about to suddenly start charging a monthly fee for normal Windows 10 desktop users. He said this was misleading, as the body of the article reported on upcoming features in the new version of Windows 10 and Microsoft Managed desktop, a service that automatically updates Windows devices for business and enterprise users.

4. The publication denied that it had breached the Code; the headline posed the question of whether Windows 10 were about to start charging a monthly fee. It said the article specified that Microsoft Managed desktop would be targeted at businesses and that it remained to be seen whether it would also be open to consumer users; it did not claim that Microsoft were going to start charging a monthly fee for normal desktop users. The publication said it was not misleading to refer to Microsoft Managed Desktop when claiming that there could be charges for using Windows 10, as the service would update Windows 10 devices. The publication said the headline, when read with the rest of the article was not inaccurate.

Relevant Code provisions

5. 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.

iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.

iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

Mediated outcome

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

7. During IPSO's investigation, the publication offered to publish the following clarification:

"We have been asked to clarify that Microsoft Managed Desktop is an additional service for business users that manages and updates their Windows 10 devices, it has not been proposed that Microsoft will introduce a fee for the same service to domestic Windows 10 users."

8. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to his satisfaction.

9. 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: 08/08/2018

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 31/10/2018