At the Sun-Times, we don’t think it’s fair for stories about arrests to follow people around forever if they were never convicted — or if charges were dropped, dismissed, reversed or expunged. Yet, because of the internet, it’s easy to find years-old or even decades-old articles, which means that some of the people we’ve covered continue to live with the negative impact of being arrested for, or accused of, a crime they might not have committed.
When stories about those arrests remain available to the public, they can have a lasting negative impact — sometimes leading to unsteady employment, a lack of housing access or other issues that can keep people from thriving. And we recognize that this coverage disproportionately affects communities of color.
Our “right to be forgotten” policy is intended to create a simple, clear and fair process to help right that wrong. We’ve set up a newsroom panel to review requests to de-index, or remove from internet search engines, past coverage that meets certain criteria. Our intention is to consider whether the harm these articles present to the accused or arrested outweighs the public benefit of keeping the stories readily available on search engines.
If you were the subject of a past article about an arrest or accusation that later was disproved, dismissed or expunged, you can request a review by filling out the form below. You can read more about our “right to be forgotten policy” in this column from Executive Editor Jennifer Kho.
Any questions about our policy? Email Sun-Times Deputy Managing Editor Norm Parish at firstname.lastname@example.org.