Daily Mail Waits a Year to Correct Articles That Misidentified and Doxxed ‘Extremist’ Family
No one is perfect. Mistakes happen. When they happen in journalism, it is incumbent upon the publication to include an editor’s note apologizing and acknowledging the error, which is expected to be fixed as quickly as possible once noticed.
The same standards apply in the U.K. and British media giant the Daily Mail sort of understands that! They made a correction on a piece that seemed to identify a “terrorist” family and even showed their house…after a year! Here’s what USA Today‘s Brad Heath pointed out when he noticed it:
Oops. Daily Mail incorrectly called someone a terrorist, published a photo of the family’s house. Then corrected it a year later … pic.twitter.com/idxust0Reo
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 19, 2016
In fact, there were two articles by Katie Hopkins that framed a Muslim family as would-be terrorists, “suggested that Mohammed Tariq Mahmood and his brother, Mohammed Zahid Mahmood, are extremists with links to Al Qaeda,” and, “suggested that Hamza Mahmood (Mohammed Tariq Mahmood’s son) was responsible for a Facebook page which allegedly contained extremist material.”
Those articles were written in response to officials preventing the Mahmoods from traveling to America to visit Disneyland last winter. At the time, the story made headlines for a few days because the family maintained they had earnestly been traveling to Disneyland for a vacation. Hopkins’ first piece was titled, “Just because Britain’s border security is a Mickey Mouse operation you can’t blame America for not letting this lot travel to Disneyland – I wouldn’t either.”
The Mail has released an apology for both pieces — which ran on December 23 and 29 last year — today, December 19, 2016. In the apology, they affirm that yes, the Mahmoods were just trying to take a vacation to California, in spite of Hopkins’ praise for Homeland Security’s decision to stop them.
“We are happy to make clear that there is no suggestion that either Hamza nor Taeeba or Hafsa Mahmood (Hamza’s mother and sister) have any links to extremism,” and, “We are happy to make clear that Tariq Mahmood and Zahid Mahmood are not extremists, nor do they have links to Al Qaeda,” proclaims the apology, which, again, was released a year after the original articles ran.
Hopkins — who you may remember for getting roasted by British television hosts when she explained that she doesn’t let her kids play with children whose names sound like they might be from a lower social class — tweeted out a link to the apology…
The Mahmood family – an apology https://t.co/PaLFWgn3Hx
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) December 19, 2016
….but did so at around 2:00 a.m. local time, prompting others in the area to signal boost it.
Don’t often share Katie Hopkins messages but do feel this late night tucked away one should be given more prominence… https://t.co/hXHFkL8izf
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) December 19, 2016
This apology was put out at 2am. Am sure that was a mistake by Katie Hopkins and should have been a big daytime tweet. So here it is again. https://t.co/8AlXlhAbcl
— emma freud (@emmafreud) December 19, 2016
I know Katie Hopkins will be gutted if people miss this given she posted it at 2am so help her out and spread it far and wide ? https://t.co/rbyQUTw98t
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) December 19, 2016
Oh no, Katie Hopkins must have accidentally sent this apology tweet (for writing lies) at 2am, forgetting that most people would be asleep. https://t.co/bXajm5Hvhy
— Siraj Datoo (@dats) December 19, 2016
Completely mystified as to why this Tweet was sent at 2.07am ?https://t.co/8TrWTAjecN
— Chris Applegate (@chrisapplegate) December 19, 2016
Just in case you missed this. After all it was slipped out at 2.07 am… https://t.co/QtU3wTrEJk
— Chris Bryant MP (@RhonddaBryant) December 19, 2016
The newspaper is paying the family “substantial damages” and is covering their legal fees.
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