Seven News has apologised after it deleted comments from its Facebook page from a mother angry at the network’s coverage of her daughter’s death.
Seven claims it deleted the comment from Linda Goldspink-Lord “in error”. At the time of deletion, more than 32,000 people had liked the comment, and 2000 had commented.
Seven has also made the unusual claim that it has the means of reinstating the comments which were left over the weekend.
The comment from Mrs Goldspink-Lord accused the network of intrusive reporting of her 13-year-old daughter Molly Lord’s accidental death neat Wollongong in NSW on July 11. She stated:
“I am the mother of the beautiful Molly Lord who was killed on a quad bike last week. I would just like to let everyone know of the pain and harassment we suffered as a result of channel 7. A reporter was on our private property very soon after the accident and whilst Molly was still on the ground. He walked up to the house down to the stables anywhere looking for a story. I went outside at some point to go to her horse for some comfort when the channel 7 helicopter flew above me trying to get footage. My husband was overseas at the time of the accident but footage of myself sitting with my deceased daughter was put on the channel 7 website for the world to see before I had even told all of my family. Channel 7 you are a disgrace and what should have been a private moment between a mother and get (sic) daughter was exploited for the sake of an exclusive story. You bastards.”
Chris Willis, director of news, at Seven News Sydney, said in a statement that the network’s report had now been removed from its website because of Mrs Goldspink-Lord’s “distress”. He also claimed in his statement that remarks would be reinstated:
“Mrs Goldspink-Lord’s comments were removed from our site in error. We apologise for that. Taking into account her understandable distress over the coverage of Molly’s death, I did ask for the footage to be taken down. That happened but unfortunately her remarks were deleted as well. They are now being restored to our Facebook page.
“I would also like to stress that we have re-examined our reports into Molly’s tragic death and can find no video showing Mrs Goldspink-Lord hugging her daughter. We were not the only television station to visit the family’s property. Our reporter did go to the house but left immediately he was told the family wished to make no comment. Our reporters and camera crews know that grieving families have to be approached with sensitivity and compassion.”
It is unclear how Seven News believes it has the means of restoring the comments to its Facebook page. It has posted a screengrab of the original comment. But it is likely that the network will be unable to reinstate the 2000 comments from consumers that followed it.
As well as the large number of complaints on the network’s Facebook page, there are now a number of protest groups being created including “Justice for Linda Goldspink-Lord” which has already gained over 2,100 fans in 14 hours.
Last week, Mumbrella wrote about the growing number of social media blunders where brands delete negative comments made on their own Facebook pages. Recent examples have included Paspaley, Gloria Jeans and Comic Con Melbourne.