How to Retract a Mistake

A Reddit thread claimed that Apple was removing negative reviews of the new LG 5K display from the online Apple store. A slew of news sites jumped on the story. Turns out, Apple had not enabled reviews on these displays until today.

TidBITS publisher Adam Engst shows how to do a retraction right:

Hence, the claim on Reddit that Apple removed negative user reviews cannot be entirely true. For confirmation, and this is what we should have done before publishing, we looked in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, which showed that from the time the LG UltraFine 5K Display page was first crawled on 5 November 2016 until now, there have never been any user reviews. In addition, we confirmed that other products in the Apple Store with user reviews do show those reviews in the Wayback Machine, so it’s not just an anomaly with the Apple Store site.

In other words, we should never have published that ExtraBITS link. We regret both the error and calling into question behavior on Apple’s part that never took place. It’s important that readers be able to trust that we can back up any criticisms that we make, and while we were certainly not alone among news outlets in publicizing that Reddit thread, we should have checked more carefully before believing it.

Mashable shows us how not to do it.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017