MailOnline (also known as dailymail.co.uk) is the website of the Daily Mail, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, and of its sister paper The Mail on Sunday. MailOnline is a division of DMG Media, part of Associated Newspapers Ltd. It is the most visited English-language newspaper website in the world, with over 11.34m visitors daily in August 2014.
The website has an international reach, featuring separate home pages for the UK, USA, India and Australia. While the MailOnline maintains the conservative editorial stance of the print edition, much of the content featured on the website is produced exclusively for the MailOnline and is not published in the Daily Mail. It is known for its "sidebar of shame", a box listing celebrity misdemeanours. The Financial Times has suggested that "If you are tired of MailOnline, you are tired of Kim Kardashian’s life – and most readers are not"; conversely George Clooney has described it as "the worst kind of tabloid. One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers" after it published an untrue story about his fiancée's family.
Globally, MailOnline is the most visited English-language newspaper website;ComScore gave the site 61.6 million unique desktop computer visitors for January 2014, ahead of The New York Times website, which received 41.97 million visitors in the same month. According to ComScore, MailOnline recorded 100.5 million visitors across desktop computers, smartphones and tablets in that month. In July 2014 it recorded 134 million users.
Almost 70% of its traffic comes from outside the UK, mostly from the United States. The Daily Mail print newspaper has no presence there, but has aggressively targeted the country with its online offering, branded as the "Daily Mail" rather than MailOnline. In January 2014 it paid over £1m to the Charleston Daily Mail for the domain name www.dailymail.com in order to increase its attractiveness to US advertisers.
In January 2014, it was ranked the eighth most-visited news website in Australia, up from 10 in December 2013. Globally the site was forecast to reach £60m in advertising sales in the year to September 2014, up 49%. £35m has been invested in creating the site. The site has introduced sponsored articles, with a guarantee of 450,000 page views at a cost of £65,000 per article.
MailOnline features a broad mixture of international news, and carries mainly UK-focused coverage of sport, personal finance, travel, science and lifestyle editorial. As of September 2014, it employs 615 people, including 406 editorial staff. These create over 750 articles per day, the editorial stance of which broadly reflects that of the Daily Mail, being to the right wing of mainstream British politics and typically supporting the UK Conservative Party. MailOnline articles tend to be dominated by pictures rather than long-form journalism. A major component of the website is its entertainment news, often featuring celebrities such as Kim Kardashian or members of the British Royal Family such as the Duchess of Cambridge. It is estimated that 25% of the traffic received by the website is purely to access the entertainment and gossip stories.
The website allows users to create accounts in order to comment on articles, and also allows anyone to express anonymous approval or disapproval of comments made. The site also publishes statistics about this activity. The house rules state that the monitors usually remove inappropriate content in full, although they do reserve the right to edit comments. The site also does not allow comments on some articles for legal reasons.
Claimed inaccuracies and controversies
September 2009: Geek.com reported that a story posted in MailOnline about a solar panel made from human hair was a hoax. Engineer Edward Craig Hyatt stated that it was not possible to use human hair in any configuration to generate electricity when exposed to light.
June 2010: The Guardian reported that MailOnline had published an inaccurate story about an iPhone 4 recall, based on a Twitter message from a parody account by a Steve Jobs impersonator. MailOnline realised its error and removed the article.
In October 2011, MailOnline and several other news sources published standby articles on Amanda Knox's trial prematurely. The articles reported an upholding of the guilty verdict before the judge had finished announcing the reversal of the guilty verdict. Mail Online stated the article was removed within 90 seconds and apologized. The article became the subject of a Press Complaints Commission complaint that noted the article's reporting of events and reactions that had not taken place and said that was "not acceptable" but commented positively on the handling of the error.
January 2012: ABC News Radio reported the falsity of a story "repeated by numerous media outlets" concerning a supposed naming by Advertising Age of a campaign by singer Rihanna for fashion house Armani as the "sexiest ad of the year." The story, Ad Age said, "seemed to have originated with the British tabloid the Daily Mail.Huffington Post removed the story and apologized.
January 2012: Robert Hart-Fletcher, of the charity "Kids and Media", told BeefJack, a gaming magazine, that quotes attributed to him were "completely fabricated" across a range of British media, most prominently the Daily Mail and the BBC.
April 2012: MailOnline published an article about a dentist who extracted her ex-boyfriend's teeth; the piece was later exposed as a hoax by MSNBC.com. The article appeared under the byline of reporter Simon Tomlinson, who said he does not know where the story came from.
April 2012: The Christian Science Monitor reported that MailOnline had misused an opinion piece published in Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper and translated into English by Al Arabiya. The original article claimed "Egypt's parliament was considering a piece of legislation sponsored by Islamists to allow men to have sex with their wives after their death." The Daily Mail, wrote Monitor staff writer Dan Murphy, "distorted the original claim from a proposal to a done deal: 'Egyptian husbands will soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives', the tabloid claimed, apparently having misunderstood the original Al Arabiya translation. "
October 2012: Actor Nicolas Cage received an apology and damages for a false story in Mail Online about allegations of tax evasion.
July 2014: The MailOnline admitted having published an entirely false story about George Clooney and the family of his fiancée.
In March 2012, the Poynter Institute published an article criticising the MailOnline for not giving proper attribution to the sources of some article content.
"It’s not just that they steal stories so blatantly[...] They go out of their way to fuck over journalists and they reap the benefits by becoming the most highly trafficked newspaper on the Internet. How hard would it be to put in one link to an article?"
Martin Clarke, editor of MailOnline, said, "We will soon be introducing features that will allow us to link easily and prominently to other sites when further recognition of source material is needed." However, by July 2013, MailOnline articles, including main articles, still do not contain any links to original sources or tips.
In March 2014, MailOnline Sports was named Laureus Sports Website of the Year at the 2014 Sports Journalist Association awards. 2
In December 2013, the Mail Online Android mobile app, Daily Mail Online, was named one of "The Best Apps of 2013" in the UK by the Google Play store.
In 2012, the Mail Online received the chairman's award for Online Media.
In 2012, the Daily Mail and Mail Online won "eight awards, including newspaper of the year, campaign of the year and hat-trick for Craig Brown".
"I'd like to pay the most enormous tribute to all of the journalists on the Daily Mail and Mail Online, our new very successful, equal partner," Dacre said after accepting the newspaper of the year award.
In 2011, the first year of the Online Media awards, Mail Online won for "Best Brand Development."