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Guides: Media and the law

Last Updated: Thursday January 06 2005 17:28 GMT

Jigsaw identification

Jigsaw graphic
Sometimes the media are told not to identify a person. That's when you have to watch out for jigsaw identification.

A law or the ruling of a particular judge can ask that someone involved in a crime is not named. It maybe because of the sort of crime it was or if they're young.

Journalists and editors are unlikely to print someone's name, but they have to be careful about what they do say. They might give out little bits of information which when pieced together allow someone to be identified. It's like putting together a jigsaw.

Message boards

Giving out facts that seem harmless can put you at risk of jigsaw identification on a message board.

You could be in danger if other users piece the information together and work out who you are.

Guide to Media and the law

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