Daily Mail Required to Remove Laacher See Eruption Fearmongering

By Erik Klemetti | February 29, 2012 8:06 am

A view across the Laacher See in Germany taken in August 2007. Photo: Erik Klemetti

Quick post this morning, but with some good news. If you remember, at the beginning of the year I wrote about an atrocious Daily Mail article claiming that the Laacher See was “ready to erupt.” There was no science to back up this claim and no evidence to back up anything. Most of you were generally irritated by the article and even wrote some letters to the “author” of the article and that was seemingly that.

Well, it turns out that something more did happen. Tabloid Watch alerted me to a new ruling by the Press Complaints Commission, prompted by a complaint from someone (maybe one of you?) about the Daily Mail article. The complaint received by the PCC “considered the assertion that the volcano was about to erupt had not been supported by sufficient evidence or expert opinions.” Upon review, the PCC found that the Laacher See piece had “breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice”. The PCC required that the article be removed by the Daily Mail. Remarkable!

So, chalk this one up for a win for science over sensationalism — and if we played any small role in this, I am more than pleased.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Eruptions, Science, Science Blogs
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Rocky Planet

Rocky Planet covers all the geologic events that made and will continue to shape our planet. From volcanoes to earthquakes to gold to oceans to other solar systems, I discuss what is intriguing and illuminating about the rocks beneath our feet and above our heads. Ever wonder what volcanoes are erupting? How tsunamis form and where? What rocks can tell us about ancient environments? How the Earth might change in the future? You'll find these answers and more on Rocky Planet.
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