ICorrect: A form of alternative dispute resolution?

I’m very curious about new site ICorrect, which I first read about in the Evening Standard on Friday:

Kate Moss alert. The supermodel has broken cover to post a statement on ICorrect.com, Sir David Tang’s new website for high- profile people to hit back at errors about them in the media. “Don’t try connecting to me on Facebook or follow tweets from Kate Moss, the real Kate Moss doesn’t use these social networking sites,” she writes. “I correct all of the imposter profiles pretending to be me and the xx twits tweeting under my name.” But how do we know it’s the real Kate writing? 

Source: Londoner’s Diary, 11.03.11

Since then it’s had plenty of coverage elsewhere – predictably, given the number of celebs publicly filing the first complaints. In answer to the Londoner’s Diary, there is a mechanism for verifying celebs are who they say they are: firstly, they must cough up some cash ($1,000 per year for an individual, $5,000 per year for a corporation); secondly, they have to be given a reference by another user or vouched for by a lawyer or representative.

But is it Chris Atkins proof…?

On closer inspection of the site I was a little surprised by the celebrities using it: had these people all paid? Why would Stephen Fry use it when he has the power to crash a website with a tweet, such is his digital influence? Or Cherie Booth QC, or Michael Caine? Or Richard Caring (left), to declare his tan genuine, among other corrections?

I’ve emailed / tweeted a few of the individuals, and received this tweet back from Jemima Khan*

@jemima_khan: @JTownend Was begged so I contributed as favour to friend.

I’ve also contacted ICorrect. I asked:

  • Must ‘correcters’ be the person, or organisation, affected by the error?
  • Did the first ‘correcters’ pay to use the site, or were they paid to promote it?
    Or did you take corrections from elsewhere and use them to demonstrate the service? ie. are the first corrections made by active users of the site?
  • Do you see this type of correction as an alternative to taking legal action or making a complaint to the PCC?
  • What would happen if someone challenged the accuracy of a correction on your site?
  • Is your focus the UK, or global media outlets as well?

I’ll let you know if/when they reply.

Finally, I’d really like to know what lawyers think of this. How would this affect the pursuit of a libel action? What happens if a correction is alleged to be inaccurate? Could it play a part in alternative dispute resolution?

*For the record, Jemima Khan was never called Haiqa.

This entry was posted in defamation, media ethics, media law, media regulation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ICorrect: A form of alternative dispute resolution?

  1. Pingback: The story behind ICorrect | media law & ethics

  2. Pingback: Midweek media law mop up: Defamation, defamation, defamation | media law & ethics

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