Statement from the editor in relation to a complaint made by 4D Telecom Ltd under section 3 of PinkNews.co.uk’s Editorial Policy

On 23 March 2006 we published an article headed “Telecoms company fined after Gay Times advert led callers to child porn”, which reported that 4D Telecom had been fined in relation to telephone lines containing under-age gay sex fantasies. We also stated that 4D Telecom had advertised the sex lines in a gay magazine.

In fact, the content of the telephone lines was written, produced and marketed entirely by one of 4D Telecom’s clients, Celestial Telecom Limited. In particular, PinkNews.co.uk accepts that 4D Telecom were not responsible for advertising the telephone lines. Therefore, the second paragraph of the article referred to above was misleading. We did not intend to make any suggestion that 4D Telecom knew of the content of the telephone lines before being notified of it by its regulator, ICSTIS.

The remainder of the article was based on the summary of an adjudication by the regulator ICSTIS, which PinkNews.co.uk reported in good faith. ICSTIS have now removed the summary.

PinkNews.co.uk did not contact 4D Telecom for a statement, relying on a statement given by 4D Telecom’s solicitors to the Daily Mirror. As a news wire service, we believe that we were within our rights not to contact 4D Telecom directly but that in this situation it would have clarified the position.

In accordance with our published editorial policy, had 4D Telecom contacted us directly on the day of publication, we would have immediately made the necessary changes to the article.

We apologise to 4D Telecom for any inconvenience caused.

For further information on our editorial policy please click here.

Benjamin Cohen

Editor, PinkNews.co.uk