Welcome to the Upworthy corrections department. At the bottom of this page, you'll find our biggest screwups.
Sometimes we blow it. We try really hard not to. But it happens to all of us humans.
By blow it, we mean publishing a piece with factual inaccuracies, or (rarely), even one with a false premise or that does more harm than good. When that happens, we will do the following:
- Edit the existing content page with updated information, noting that it's being corrected.
- Add the error to this page so people can see how much we blew it and what we're doing to fix it.
- If the post's entire premise was wrong, we'll repost the corrected post on our social media accounts, clearly marking it as a correction, to make sure it gets the same amount of attention as the original incorrect content.
- Do everything in our power to make sure we never have to update this post again.
Facts are important. They often get lost in the 24-hour news cycle. We'd like to make sure they get the attention they deserve. You can read more about our fact-checking policies on Upworthy Insider.
(Note: Because we've been around since early 2012 and our posts are meant to be shared, sometimes an outdated post will start getting attention again. We don't always see that happen, but when we do, we'll do our best to update it accordingly.)
So again, our bad. Here's our list of screw-ups:
- The Content: Here Are 10 Images. By The Time I Reached The Third One, I Was Crying. By The 10th, I Was Furious.
- The Problem: Two details in our summary of the case of Jonathan Ferrell turned out to be incorrect. There had not been a trial yet — the case was still pending. And in the video, which has not yet been shown to the public, only one police officer fired on Ferrell, not all three.
- How We Fixed It: We corrected the passage and added a correction to the post.
- The Content: Utah Checked Almost 5,000 People On Welfare For Drugs And The Results Almost Made Me Throw Something
- The Problem: Our chart said 12 out of almost 5,000 welfare recipients in Utah failed a drug test. But according to the AP story, Utah gave 4,730 applicants a written test. After 466 showed "a likelihood of drug use," they were given actual drug tests, which 12 failed.
- How We Fixed It: We corrected the headline and the original chart, plus we made a second chart to reflect the actual drug-testing.
- The Content: When The Grandson Of A Nazi Is Like, 'Hmm, This Seems Familiar,' It's Probably Time To Pay Attention
- The Problem: The speaker in the video was misidentified in the transcript.
- How We Fixed It: We fixed his name (Rainer Höss, grandson of Rudolf Höss) and added a correction.
- The Content: Are You In The Majority Of Everything? Check This Handy Chart.
- The Problem: The original chart misstates the proportion of people in North and South America. North America (including Central America and the Caribbean) is more populous than South America.
- How We Fixed It: We added a correction with the correct proportion, which is about 8 North Americans and 6 South Americans.
- The Content: A Beautiful Explanation Of The Differences Between The Fantasy Of Love And The Reality Of Love
- The Problem: We misspelled Phil Kaye's last name (his partner's last name is Kay — what are the chances?).
- How We Fixed It: We edited his name and added a correction.
- The Content: McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Under A Microscope
- The Problem: The video wasn't a scientific analysis. It was a character assassination without evidence. A good video would have identified the components in the chicken in a scientific setting and compared it to everything else we eat every day. Without context, it's just theater.
- How We Fixed It: We created this post to keep track of all our errors (and included all previous corrections below). We will scrutinize content far more closely from now on at every step of our editorial process.
The Content: Gun Expert Decides To Make Stuff Up. Reporter Decides To Shut Him Down.
- The Problem: The curator inferred John Lott's stance on gun laws, which Lott then told us was not correct.
- How We Fixed It: We took out the offending passage and offered to publish his actual stance on gun laws verbatim, but we never heard back.
The Content: How The Republican Convention Contradicts The Entire Republican Convention
- The Problem: We made a graphic about the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and assumed that the "no-weapons zone" around it included guns. Turns out, it banned all kinds of other things but not guns.
- How We Fixed It: We made a new graphic just for the correction and posted it below the original.
- The Content: The Assault Rifle Used In Aurora Used To Be Illegal. For A Reason.
- The Problem: We posted a graphic from another source that showed the incorrect gun and stated an incorrect stat.
- How We Fixed It: We corrected the graphic ourselves with the right image and stat.
- The Content: BREAKING: Last Time North Carolina Amended Their Constitution On Marriage, It Was To Ban Interracial Marriage
- The Problem: The headline originally implied that this was the first time North Carolina had amended its Constitution since banning interracial marriage. In fact, it had been amended since.
- How We Fixed It: We updated the headline to include "On Marriage."
- The Content: Pop Quiz: California Spent X Times As Much On Prisoners As It Did On Students?
- The Problem: We made an infographic based on CNN data that turned out to be incomplete and potentially misleading.
- How We Fixed It: Unfortunately, complete data wasn't available, so we weren't able to update our graphic. But we did change the headline to reflect our uncertainty. We'll be much more critical of the data we get, even from a source like CNN.