Daily Mail and rape footage

I have a history with the Daily Mail.

For starters, I worked there in the 1990s despite being a left-leaning person keen on supporting human rights. Then last year I wrote a blog post about how poor the standards were becoming at the Mail.

The Daily Mail is a favourite of the Twitterati - its right-wing politics and tub-thumping, link-baiting journalism is guaranteed to get us liberal social media types uptight and sniping.

Even when they recently claimed personal and professional success in the conviction of two men for the murder of Stephen Lawrence they failed to win even a flicker of support from their traditional enemies.

To sum up it's a hate-hate relationship.

Today they have stooped so low that makes me feel physically sick to my stomach. And it's a strong stomach I might add.

Today they carried a report of an alleged rape on Big Brother in Brazil.

No problem there - of course they should report on that. After all, the programme is still huge news around the world and a crime has been alleged.

But the Daily Mail was not content in telling its readers about the allegation, it also deemed it necessary to show them what had taken place in a seven-minute video taken from YouTube.

No I won't link to it because in doing so I would republish this mindless, unethical, immoral 'journalism' and I have no intention of doing that.

No doubt the defence will be that the material is already out there on YouTube so why not? Well, the answer is simple: we are gatekeepers of information. We edit and employ logic and ethics to decisions about what and when to publish - that's why experienced people in our trade (or profession if you prefer but you'd be wrong) get more money and the top jobs if they want them.

Snuff movies have been available from dodgy market stalls for years, hard core porn has been available on the top shelves of newsagents or adult shops for decades yet no newspaper editor has felt the need to republish their content.

Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. And in this case that fact is so blindingly obvious to anyone with a brain I can't believe I am even having to write this.

Simply appalling.

UPDATE: The video had been removed from the story by the evening of January 17.

UPDATE: Angry Mob has also blogged to highlight the weirdly spinning moral compass of the Daily Mail


  1. It seems to me that what this comes down to is trusted brands.

    The Mail is, rightly or wrongly, trusted by its readers to provide them with material that is accurate, relevant and ethically appropriate. This gives it a responsibility greater than that accorded to most internet sites. It is therefore inadequate to say that material being in the public domain makes it suitable for publication.

  2. Do snuff movies, as strictly defined, really exist or do you mean those compilation 'documentary' videos like Faces of Death?


    1. Good question and one that was raised by someone else. Perhaps I have used the term too loosely when I can see now that a Snuff movie is a very specific 'genre'.

    2. Doesn't affect your point either way though.

    3. Still embarrassing for a journalist to have to admit to a lack of research. I'll blame it on the rage.