newspaper goes full 1984, offers to memory hole vandalism charges in the name of racial justice

The Boston Globe - Fresh Start: Revisiting the Past for a Better Future

Following the nationwide reckoning on racial justice, the Globe is looking inward at the impact its coverage has had on communities of color. As we are updating how we cover the news, we are also working to better understand how some stories can have a lasting negative impact on someone’s ability to move forward with their lives.

Globe journalism was never meant to be a permanent obstacle to someone’s success, with the worst decisions and moments in regular people’s lives accessible by a few keystrokes for the rest of time. This initiative aims to empower all people who want to have a fresh start. We will consider updating past coverage with new information and changing how accessible stories are in search engines.

For example: Were you arrested for vandalism but never charged? Or did a jury acquit you? Or was the crime a long time ago?

We are not in the business of rewriting the past, but we want to update the record and not stand in the way of a regular person’s ability to craft their future. Finding that balance will be a complicated endeavor.

We will consider all cases but act only on some. We will have a particularly high standard for cases involving public figures or serious crimes.

The Fresh Start initiative is new for us, and we expect it to evolve with regular assessments and tweaks along the way. We welcome public comments and concerns at