Mail leads PCC online story deletions

The Daily Mail has deleted a handful of articles from its website in the last few months in response to complaints made via the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

According to the PCC’s most recent index of resolved complaints Guardian Unlimited removed one of its inaccurate online stories while the Mail and its Sunday sister volunteered the majority of deletions, with four since April.

The first such instance came after the head teacher of a Cumbrian primary school complained about a Mail On Sunday report in March that alleged he had surreptitiously fingerprinted pupils as young as three. The paper published an apology and pledged to remove the article.

The paper then deleted a story that claimed the Canadian factory manufacturering batteries for the supposedly eco-friendly hybrid Toyota Prius car was harming the environment after receiving a letter from a reader pointing out inaccuracies in reported dates.

The Daily Mail also had to remove a story after father of a five-year-old St Helens schoolgirl Ellie Lawrenson complained about a report alleging he was seen laughing just days after she was mauled to death by a pit bull terrier.

The Sunday paper then said it would delete an investigation in to the breakdown of Caroline Flint MP’s marriage after the work and pensions minister complained of intrusion of privacy.

Publications frequently agree to issue internal notes correcting earlier reporting as well as to publish apologies and withdraw claims from circulation where possible, choosing these resolutions instead of risking a PCC adjudication.

Online journalism allows editors to change and remove errors in ways print journalists cannot. Guardian Unlimited deleted a story about influenza protection after receiving a complaint from a flu drugs supplier.

The Mail replaced the Toyota story with a correction and vowed to delete the others. However, the stories on the Cumbria school and the politician’s marriage remained online today.

The PCC’s most recent resolved complaints list digests complaints tackled between April and July.