Mail Online takes down video of schoolgirl attack after privacy complaint from mother of teenage 'bully'

Mail Online has removed a video showing schoolgirls attacking another child after receiving a complaint from the mother of one of the assailants.

The story was headlined: “Schoolgirl, 12, is attacked by bullies who branded her a ‘s**g’ and told her she had a ‘fat a**’ before dragging her to her floor and leaving her lying in a gutter.

It was posted on 3 March 2017 and included a video of the incident. Mail Online reported that a mother “shared distressing footage of a brutal attack that left her 12-year-old daughter lying in a gutter to raise awareness of violent school bullying”.

The mother of the alleged assailant complained to press regulator IPSO that Mail Online breached her 15-year-old daughter’s privacy by publishing the video.

Mail Online said the footage had already been posted online and viewed more than 4,000 times before it published the story. The publication added that it had taken care to make sure the complainant’s daughter could not be identified.

Clause 2 of the IPSO Editors’ Code states: “(i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.”

Clause 6 of the Code, the section covering children, reads: “iii) Children under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.”

Mail Online and the complainant could not resolve the issue directly, so IPSO began investigating.

Mail Online offered to take the article down during their investigation, and the complainant agreed that removal would satisfy their complaint.

IPSO did not reach a decision on whether or not the Mail Online breached the Code as both parties had reached an agreement.

Read the full A woman v Mail Online IPSO adjudication.

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