Washington Post commenters name Strauss-Kahn’s accuser in discussing story about not naming her

The Washington Post
Although media have reported many details of the woman who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape, Paul Farhi wrote in a Post story, “one detail remains unreported: her name.” He goes on to explain why U.S. news outlets haven’t named her. A few commenters, however, decided to name the woman themselves. “There. It’s been in the French presses,” wrote one commenter after posting her name. (Poynter.org also has a policy of not identifying victims of sexual assault.) Two of the comments were posted Wednesday about 1 a.m.; they remained there until shortly after 9 p.m., when I asked Washington Post Managing Editor Raju Narisetti about them. Post staff found one other comment with the woman’s name and deleted it, too.

The Post, like many news sites, does not moderate comments prior to publication. Narisetti explained via email what happened:

“It was an oversight. Given the volume of comments, we are somewhat dependent on readers flagging comments that violate our standards to catch those that don’t trip our automatic ‘bozo’ filters. We should have deleted these in keeping with our normal standards on such issues. Like most major news sites, we struggle with moderation as no amount of technology (filters) and human moderation will catch everything unless other readers flag it.”

Earlier: Slate/France editor shares reason for publishing name of alleged rape victim in Strauss-Kahn case

(Hat tip to David Westphal, who tweeted about this earlier Wednesday.)

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  • Anonymous

    Shouldn’t the disclaimer contained in this post read, (Poynter.org also has a policy of not identifying ALLEGED victims of sexual assault.) ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4LL66DPYU2MFGDWSWXHKDXHJT4 ml

    If you don’t name the alleged victim, you should also not name the alleged perpetrator.  Apparently the US news media believe that the victim is so harmed by involvement in this type of crime that she or he should remain anonymous.  Isn’t the accused innocent until proven guilty?  By any logic, the same harm – or worse – falls upon the accused perpetrator, which we can certainly see is true in the DSK case.  In any sex crime, if you protect the victim’s name, you should also protect the accused’s name, until a final verdict is rendered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501210160 Tim Herrera

    This post itself brings up another important point to keep in mind when covering sex-assault cases: Poynter convicted DSK in this very post.

    “Poynter.org also has a policy of not identifying victims of sexual assault.”