The Times forced to issue corrections after spreading ‘anti-trans’ misinformation

A man reads The Times newspaper as he rides the tube in London

The Times has been forced to issue two corrections within two days after publishing ‘anti-trans’ misinformation.

On Tuesday (4 January), the newspaper finally offered a correction to a story on inclusive language around birthing which it published almost a year ago.

In February, 2021, a Times article claimed that in new guidance, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust was telling staff in perinatal services to “say ‘chestfeeding’ instead of ‘breastfeeding'”, and to “replace the term ‘mother'”.

A quick glance through the trust’s guidance proves this claim to be categorically untrue, as it clearly states that it will be “taking a gender-additive approach”, which it says means “using gender-neutral language alongside the language of motherhood”.

However, it took a ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) to convince The Times to admit the inaccuracy of its story.

In its correction, the newspaper said: “Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust’s guidance did not advocate the universal substitution of the term ‘breastfeeding’ with ‘chestfeeding’, rather that the term ‘breast/chestfeeding’ should be used instead in the trust’s literature and communications.”

With no evidence, The Times claimed that hundreds of ‘male-bodied sex offenders were classified as women’ in recent years

Just a day later, on Wednesday (6 January), The Times was forced to print another correction relating to trans people.

This time, it clarified an opinion piece written by Alex Massie, titled: “Self-ID is a fantasy that hurts trans people.”

In the story, Massie claimed: “We pretend that women can — and do — commit rape… In England and Wales 436 male-bodied sex offenders were classified as women from 2012 to 2018.”

In the correction, The Times said: “In fact, under English law, accessories to a crime are charged as principal offenders, and therefore women can be charged with rape.

“How many female defendants were ‘male-bodied’ is not recorded. We are happy to make this clear.”

Following the correction, The Times has now re-published the piece, removing the explicit claim that all recorded female sex offenders are trans.

However, at the time this article was published, it continued to claim that “436 rape defendants were classified as women”.

Stonewall CEO Nancy Kelley was among those to comment on the correction, tweeting: “Good to see [The Times] issuing a formal correction of the misinformation it published on rape statistics.

“Trans women are constantly being represented as threats and as predators in our press and public conversation. They are not.”