NEW YORK, NY, November 04, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Online mugshot publishing is done primarily for informational purposes and public safety since not everyone is covered equally by traditional news media when it comes to reporting arrests and convictions. The reality is only a miniscule percentage of arrests and convictions make the news, yet nearly every arrest is of interest to someone, somewhere. That is the enormous information gap that websites such as Mugshots.com fill.
Critics argue that mugshots of arrestees are published for the sole purpose of making a profit. That is simply false. While all media organizations earn profits through the publication of mugshots through various means, that is not the sole purpose for publishing them. Just because an activity results in profits does not somehow automatically preclude it from also serving legitimate and important public interests. Earning a profit and benefiting the general public are not mutually exclusive as critics attempt to misleadingly oversimplify the issue.
In fact, mugshots are a staple of many of the countries most prominent traditional news organizations from the Chicago Tribune to the Sun Sentinel. While profit is a motive in their decision to publish pages devoted to mugshots by generating increased website traffic and thus ad revenues, doing so also provides a valuable public service by alerting the communities they serve about individuals in their midst who have been arrested. There is both a profit motive as well as a public service motive, but the existence of the former in no way d-legitimizes the latter for they are not mutually exclusive.
Various publishers have opted to allow published mugshots to expire after a certain period of time and to block the information from being indexed by Google. What many people do not seem to understand is that this is an entirely voluntary decision. There is no legal or ethical mandate to do so. On the contrary, some news editors argue that the automatic expiration of this content is itself of questionable journalistic integrity because it distorts the historical public record by altering what the public is capable of viewing at some future date from what was available upon the date of publication. There are strong and conflicting opinions regarding all aspects of this topic from whether mugshots should be published at all, to how, if at all, they should be removed or concealed, i.e., wholesale removal after a specified time period or on an individual basis upon meeting removal guidelines.
Removal of all mugshots after a certain period of time does not necessarily serve the public interest of informing communities about arrestees any better than on an individual basis. In fact, the latter approach helps inform the public of truly dangerous individuals far better than the former. Unlike the wholesale removal of all mugshots, the individual basis approach ensures that those arrested for very serious crimes or eventually convicted generally will not be removed from the publics view since most removal guidelines by non-traditional publishers who permit individual mugshot unpublishing make them ineligible for unpublishing.
The individual basis approach is the one adopted by The Mugshots.com Database, the database which powers Mugshots.com. This approach addresses the issue of allowing those arrested for relatively minor offenses or never convicted to get their mugshot removed from public view while ensuring that those arrested for very serious crimes remain visible. Granted, this is not a perfect solution, but neither is the other approach which eventually conceals from public view individuals arrested for minor offenses but also individuals arrested for the most serious crimes imaginable.
The Mugshots.com Database approach allows arrestees for minor offenses to remove their mugshot from public view while ensuring mugshots of serious offenders remain visible. But this is a voluntary service. As agents for The Mugshots.com Database, Unpublisharrest.com, never initiates contact regarding unpublishing information contained in the publicly accessible database and never solicits any payment to have information removed. The Mugshots.com Database would prefer not to unpublish any record from the database. Their information service is more complete and informative when they do not unpublish mugshots. In fact, unpublishing service was initially not available at all; however, the service was introduced only after repeated consumer requests to consider individual situations. The Mugshots.com Database maintains a strict non-solicitation policy across their operations and with their authorized agents, and unpublishing eligibility is considered on a case-by-case basis.
If an individual arrestees' record is eligible for unpublishing under the guidelines, there are legitimate business expenses associated with creating, publishing, maintaining, and unpublishing that have to be accounted for somehow. Even though the database provides a valuable public service, none of these activities are free. There are various expenses in providing this service. Charging a fee to unpublish eligible records strikes a fair balance for the publisher, the requesting arrestee, and the general public.
Critics decry the practice of charging to unpublish arrest records and mugshots from easily accessible private databases; however, if this optional service did not exist, eligible arrestees would be equally outraged that they could not have their mugshot removed. Hiding publicly available arrest records by default is not an option. Mugshots.com strongly believes in informing the public of arrests and holding government accountable. It is evident by the thousands of stories published in the Mugshots.com Database and thousands more to come. Mugshots.com acknowledges that in doing so they will not always be popular, but they can accept that as the price of doing what they believe is right.
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