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NPR: Story 'The Man Who Spent $100K To Remove A Lie From Google' Has Been Retracted

Editor's note on April 11, 2018: NPR has retracted the story that was previously on this page because it did not meet our standards. "Fairness" is one of our guiding principles, and to that end we have pledged to "make every effort to gather responses from those who are the subjects of criticism." In this instance, that did not happen. The story referred to one individual as the "author" of a website that another person said had posted defamatory information about him. It also described the author's motivation as vindictive. But NPR did not contact the alleged author. Upon review, NPR cannot say for certain who the author or authors were or what their motivation was. In fact, in court proceedings, the people listed as "staff editors" of the site were identified only by initials, and we have not been able to establish their identities. In addition, our account made it sound as if the website targeted a single individual. In fact, the website included information and commentary about at least 12 other people. The reporting mistakes substantially undercut the story. We will continue to report about the issue of privacy in the digital age. As we do, we will work hard to make sure the reports live up to our promise to produce content that meets "the highest standards of public service in journalism."

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Corrected: April 10, 2018 at 9:00 PM PDT
NPR has retracted this story because it did not meet our standards. An audio statement is posted here.
Aarti Shahani is a correspondent for NPR. Based in Silicon Valley, she covers the biggest companies on earth. She is also an author. Her first book, Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares (out Oct. 1, 2019), is about the extreme ups and downs her family encountered as immigrants in the U.S. Before journalism, Shahani was a community organizer in her native New York City, helping prisoners and families facing deportation. Even if it looks like she keeps changing careers, she's always doing the same thing: telling stories that matter.