IPSO, the complaints-handler controlled by the press, has recently published its report for 2021.
The report reveals that in 2021:
- Out of 14173 complaints, only 88 were upheld. That’s a rate of 0.6%.
- 2126 complaints were given up on.
- 30 complaints related to content in newspapers’ unmoderated comment sections which IPSO refuses to act on, despite the fact that racist and misogynistic abuse has appeared on these platforms.
- 230 complaints were “resolved”, which refers to complaints in which a remedy is proposed by the newspaper and the complainant accepts it. Complainants often feel this is the best they can do when battling against IPSO’s 6-month, attritional complaints process. IPSO cease to review the complaint any further after it is “resolved”, allowing the newspaper to escape any adverse adjudication.
Commenting, Hacked Off CEO Nathan Sparkes said,
2021 was another year of abject failure from IPSO, which upheld only 0.6% of the complaints it received.
The fact that 2126 complaints were given up on speaks to the slow and attritional nature of IPSO’s complaints process, which is biased in favour of the newspaper and deters complainants from pursuing their complaints.
The data also reveals that 30 complaints were not even investigated by IPSO because they related to content in unmoderated newspaper comment sections.
“The Online Safety Bill currently exempts newspaper comment sections, partly on the basis of claims from the press that these platforms are already regulated. This data confirms that this is not the case.
Figure of 14173 complaints derived from adding 461 “complaints investigated” and 13712 “complaints assessed.”
2126 complaints abandoned derived from adding 14 “not pursued during IPSO investigation” and 2112 “not pursued”.
230 complaints resolved derived from adding 25 “complaints resolved with IPSO mediation” and 205 “complaints resolved between publisher and complainant”.