Here is a roadmap of choices, rationale
Because of a growing number of takedown demands, requests for removal of online articles, JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission offers guidelines to assist students and their advisers face these requests. Such requests typically come from sources, former staffers or citizens with concerns.
We agree with the Student Press Law Center’s Executive Director Frank LoMonte when he said the SPLC has shied away from telling people a ”right way” to handle takedown requests, leaving the decision to their editorial discretion.
“What we DO tell them is that they’re legally protected pretty much whatever decision they make,” LoMonte said. “Almost every newsroom has a variation of the simple rule that nothing will be taken down unless it’s proven factually false or otherwise legally deficient as of the time it was published.”
LoMonte said those creating takedown policies might “shackle themselves,” to the point they could not use discretion for that “one out-of-left-field moment …essential to deviate from policy.”
So, instead of policy, we offer this to help students make informed choices. In all situations, we recommend the SPLC’s existing work on the subject, and hope these guidelines will offer a roadmap if your students face takedown decisions. In addition, we also offers series of guideposts to evaluate information before it is posted: A Put Up policy that might prevent hard choices later.
Our guidelines look at legal demands, ethical considerations and possible reactions
Evaluating legal demands
Evaluating ethical choices
10 steps to a “Put Up” policy
Handling online comments