A Note from the Editor-in-Chief on a Piece I Chose to Retract

A message from Editor-in-Chief Michael Shammas ’16 on a piece we retracted earlier today:

The Record is run by multiple people and not everyone sees posts as they are submitted. Nor do we all evaluate posts at the same time.

Usually, there is no need to have a “sign off” from more than one editor when we publish posts, because usually Harvard Law School is not embroiled in situations like this.

In this case, the editorial board had a disagreement after some editors saw the post online when other editors hadn’t yet had a chance to thoroughly evaluate the piece. I made the final call to take the piece down for a variety of reasons, which I think are all consistent with running a paper that furthers free discourse and debate. I don’t know if my decision to remove the piece was correct or not — God knows, plenty of people have criticized me for it. Some people who disagree with those people have criticized me for the piece’s momentary existence on our website.

Indeed, another editor made an excellent argument for why the Record should run the piece. I disagreed. Again, perhaps I was wrong for retracting the piece. I honestly see both sides of the argument, and I went with my gut instinct.

Since our team is taking so much time out of our schedules to serve as a platform for this discussion, we hope that you continue (honestly, for many of you, “continue” should read “begin”) to treat the masthead, made up completely of volunteer law students, with respect, understanding, and empathy.

Thank you.

Mike

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