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Press Ruling Goes Against Harry

Newspaper had called prince's Instagram post of his work with wild animals misleading
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2020 5:30 PM CST
A photo released by Kensington Palace shows Prince Harry working in Malawi in 2016 as part of an initiative involving moving some 500 elephants.   (Frank Weitzer/African Parks via AP)
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(Newser) – An organization that monitors press standards has sided with a British newspaper after Prince Harry filed a complaint over criticism of a posting on his Instagram account. The Mail on Sunday did not violate the standards of the Independent Press Standards Organization, the watchdog decided. Harry had posted the photos, taken on a trip to Africa, to mark Earth Day, CNN reports. They showed a rhino, elephant and lion. The headline in the Mail read: "Drugged and tethered … what Harry didn't tell you about those awe-inspiring wildlife pictures." The Instagram post left out the fact that the animals had been tranquilized in preparation for being relocated, per the Guardian. A rope around the elephant's hind legs was cropped out. The result was a post that could make readers think the prince had made "a thrilling – possibly life-endangering – pursuit across the bush" to get the up-close photos, the article said.

Harry's complaint said he hadn't meant to mislead anyone. The rope was cropped out to meet Instagram's formatting requirements, he said, and it wasn't necessary to mention the drugging or tethering because a caption said the animals were being moved. The watchdog disagreed and said the photo of the elephant could have been cropped differently, while pointing out that the Mail article had included a denial from the prince that the tether was cut out intentionally. It wasn't “significantly misleading," the organization ruled, for the Mail to point out that Harry's post "did not quite tell the full story." (Meghan Markle's suit against the Mail could bring her face-to-face with her father.)

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