Australia’s public broadcaster has apologized after a documentary set to be aired on the network depicted the names of rape survivors without their consent.
BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday that the names and images of two rape survivors were included in advance media copies of the documentary “Silent No More” without their knowledge.
The breach of privacy, reportedly alerted to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday, led the network to cancel a private viewing of the three-part documentary and issue an apology.
“Due to human error, an early version of ‘Silent No More’ was provided to a small number of accredited media under embargo,” the ABC told BuzzFeed. “Significant steps were taken to de-identify names and details in the broadcast version and it has always been our intention that these names and details be blurred before broadcast.”
One woman told BuzzFeed that she had shared her account with one journalist without knowing that it would be used for a documentary.
“I sent a private DM to an individual woman,” the victim said. “I didn’t expect my comments to end up in a documentary to be broadcast publicly.”
The messages were sent to journalist Tracey Spicer, the documentary’s presenter, who said she apologized for what she characterized as an error in post-production leading to the women’s identities not being protected.
“As a participant in this documentary, I was assured survivors’ identities would be fully protected,” Spicer told BuzzFeed. “I apologize deeply and unreservedly to those whose names were visible in that initial version of the program.
I’m relieved that the ABC has swiftly moved to take it down and that no one is identified in the broadcast version,” she added.