Clarifications: backdated missing persons content removed

Police Hour published content relating to missing persons within our website in response to official requests from a local police force.

Once these missing people were located the content was removed from our website.

The usual process relating to content containing missing people is that they are removed or edited once the police force who have issued the appeal have updated of an outcome.

Not all forces remember to contact the media back to update them and the public of an outcome once a missing person has been found meaning in these cases content cannot be removed or edited as we believe these are still outstanding missing people.

in 2020 we became aware of content that was still being circulated requesting information relating to missing people who has been located in 2016 despite the content being removed from our platform.

This came to our attention after a large level of emails came into the newsroom informing the team that this content was still being shared and requesting we remove it. We looked into this and found the content had been removed from our platform.

We were unsure to how this could still be getting shared and launched an immediate investigation which looked at the Google AMP, Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles Content to check the systems had removed these.

The outcome of that investigation found the content was still being shared within Facebook Instant Articles as the platform takes a scrape of the news content and does not remove it unless it is manually requested.

All content relating to missing people up to this date whereby the police have updated of an outcome have been either removed or edited within the website.

All of this content has now been removed from our website and from the instant articles platform.

And we thank everyone who took the time to reach out to us to let us know.