April 05, 2008

AIRBRUSHED! A reader emails: "BBC article you mentioned was re-written to be more global warming friendly. The quotes you cited don't seem to appear any longer." Yes, if you go here and then follow the link you'll see that the passage I cut and pasted is no longer there.

Where do they think they are, Australia?

UPDATE: Dale Amon comments:

Making changes in the first few minutes after publication in this fast paced world is necessary. Going back hours or days later and making wholesale rewrites to the public record is not.

One might also note an exception: if one finds they have issued a libellous statement or accidentally published proprietary information or totally false information that is of course grounds for pulling the whole article... or striking out the offending phrase and placing a note like this one underneath. This is what the BBC should have done if they believed they had published incorrect data.

I think that's right. It seems a bit pretentious to me to add an update noting every minor change made after hitting "publish," but my general rule is not to make changes that are big enough, or late enough, that they'd make someone's post linking to me wrong. That's what the BBC did here, by eliminating the passage I quoted.