There has been huge backlash to Mail Online’s decision to publish photos of the man in whose flat the Grenfell Tower blaze is alleged to have started.
The online story, based on apparent claims from neighbours, has been met with disgust by those upset at speculation about the tragedy, with the confirmed death toll continuing to rise. It has received more than 1,100 complaints to the press watchdog, according to The Guardian.
Many have hit out at the newspaper for its decision to draw attention to an individual, with some drawing comparisons between the story and The Sun’s infamous Hillsborough coverage of 1989.
Grenfell's the austerity era's Hillsborough, and The Mail's smear is the same as The Sun's. Done to protect the establishment from justice.— CockaigneBlues🌹 (@NyeBeverage) June 15, 2017
It has also been claimed that a journalist from The Sun posed as a friend of those harmed in the fire in order to gain access to hospitals, with The Guardian reporting that King’s College Hospital plans to file a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) over the matter.
The alleged invasion of privacy has received similar criticism from a number of observers – the Ipso code reads as follows in relation to hospitals:
i) Journalists must identify themselves and obtain permission from a responsible executive before entering non-public areas of hospitals or similar institutions to pursue enquiries.
ii) The restrictions on intruding into privacy are particularly relevant to enquiries about individuals in hospitals or similar institutions.
News UK denies the claims, saying no reporter ‘impersonated’ family members.