How To Lose Friends And Influence DealBreaker: The Start Of A Correction Policy

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We occasionally get requests from folks who are unhappy with something we have published and would like us to retract, correct or simply remove the offending item. Typically we must deliver a piece of very disappointing news: that we have a strict standard when it comes to these matters—we will only issue corrections for errors, retract falsehoods and delete defamations. In short, we cannot comply with such requests unless they have truth on their side and we do not.
There is another way to convince us to revoke a story and that is through an appeal to common human decency. We have no interest in ruining your marriage, getting you fired from your job or having you expelled from your trade. Oddly enough, this way exists only in theory and appears never to have been tested. We’re not sure if it says something about us or our subjects—probably both—that no-one has ever made an appeal to our sense of decency. And, really, if a DealBreaker item comes close to ruining your marriage or getting you fired, you’ve probably done most of the work yourself.
A very bad way to convince us to change our way of doing things is to threaten us with lawyers. We happen to be staffed by lots of lawyers, and we know even more lawyers. We’ve spilled legal printer’s ink by the barrel and shredded documents by the ton. Lawyers don’t scare us. They just tell us we’ve hit a nerve.
(The one exception to this is if we’ve actually violated someone’s rights or a statute we think is constitutional. We’re not in the business of lawbreaking—unless it’s for a very good cause. But lawyers aren’t the best way to convince us of this. Rational argument does the trick much better. For real. Be kind, leave your lawyers behind. You won’t regret it.)
Not sure exactly what inspired these thoughts but we thought we’d share.

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