IPSO: Sun breached Editors' Code with reports which blamed British Council manager for 'vile' Prince George meme

The Sun breached the Editors’ Code with two inaccurate stories about Facebook comments posted by a British Council employee about Prince George.

The tabloid has apologised to Angela Gibbons, corrected the stories and been ordered by regulator IPSO to publish a critical adjudication.

The first story was headlined: “Three-year-old Prince George hit by vile rant from British Council boss paid thousands by taxpayers to promote UK.”

A picture caption  stated: “Troll with it…Angela Gibbins caused fury with her attack by saying ‘Prince George already looks like a f**** d***head’”. Gibbons said this was inaccurate; she had not created the meme, and had not called Prince George a “f****** d***head”.

“An image of the meme in the second article was captioned ‘Facebook Troll’ at the top, and ‘Facebook troll…Angela Gibbins posted the comments on a private Facebook page’, at the bottom. She said that this inaccurately suggested that she was the ‘troll’ who had posted the meme.”

Gibbons involvement was to make a comment under the picture which said: “White privilege. That cheeky grin is the innate knowledge he’s royal, rich, advantaged and will never know ANY difficulties or hardships in life.”

The adjudication stated: “The newspaper accepted that the picture caption on first article was inaccurate, and said that the only explanation it could provide was that a sub-editor has misread the article.

“It said that when the British Council brought the mistake to its attention on the day after publication, it amended the caption to remove this claim.”

IPSO said: “The publication of the inaccurate caption in the first article was a failure to take care not to publish inaccurate information.

“The presentation of the image of the meme in the second article clearly implied that the complainant had posted the meme to Facebook, which was inaccurate. This represented a further failure to take care not to publish misleading information.”

Read the IPSO adjudication in full.

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