Taking responsibility for past indiscretions is never easy to do for individuals, let alone entire companies. In the case of publications like newspapers and magazines, every article written typically exists forever, especially when published online. Nevertheless, taking accountability must always be a standard.

Last week, National Geographic did exactly that. For context, the magazine published its first edition in 1888, so you can imagine the amount of content published over the years that would be deemed problematic today. National Geographic addressed this, stating that they had written racist articles and printed problematic photos for decades in the past, and owned up to not allowing people of color to subscribe to the magazine into the 1960s.

The April edition of the magazine was meant to be devoted to talking about race, so the editor-in-chief hired an outsider, John Edwin Mason, a professor of African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia, to take a look at National Geographic’s history. Mason came to this conclusion: “That National Geographic should not do an issue on race without understanding its own complicity in shaping understandings of race and racial hierarchy.”

Now, it’s still up for debate whether National Geographic is really doing enough to combat its racist past. Publications such as CNN, the Chicago Tribune and New York Magazine have all written articles detailing the controversy and its mixed reactions. However, I still felt it was a big step forward for National Geographic to even admit to their past wrongdoings. But then I thought, why am I so surprised and impressed by something that should be normal?

I find it incredibly disappointing that National Geographic’s choice to examine its problematic past caused such an uproar. Like many others who have criticized the issue, I’m not sure praise is completely in order. As professor and journalist Ron Stodghill put it, “It’s not being enlightened, it’s just being fair and thorough.”

Coincidentally, the National Geographic controversy came to light around the same time the Binghamton Review, Binghamton University’s publication for libertarian and conservative thought, came to some controversy of its own. The Review published an article titled “Standard Fuck Parties, Bug Chasing, and Homosexuality,” which cited a documentary that claimed that gay people purposely contract HIV/AIDS in big unprotected sex parties, among other claims. It also published an article, “Sexual Consent Contract,” mocking the concept of consent. Unsurprisingly, some BU students were outraged; some even created a petition to call for the Binghamton Review’s charter to be revoked. The Student Association also put out a statement in fierce opposition to the publishing of these two articles.

So, what did the Binghamton Review do amid all of this? Its executive board posted a statement to its Facebook page, including this apology: “We offer our sincere apologies to those negatively impacted by this article. We never intend to distress our readers; the hope is that they will walk away with fresh perspectives.” It also stated that the writer, who goes by the pseudonym “Pino Che,” a reference to the fascist Chilean dictator known for throwing political enemies out of helicopters to their deaths, will no longer be published.

What the apology lacked, though, was any sort of accountability. Though the e-board members technically apologized, they did not mention the incredibly homophobic nature of the article that prompted the controversy. They make no reference to the fact that the article uses a statistic that has no source. They apologized, but they apologized for offending people, not for posting inaccurate and homophobic content, or for making fun of the importance of consent.

Of course, we can argue about if they’re just using their freedom of speech, but freedom of speech arguments often go nowhere in these kinds of situations. Whether or not the Binghamton Review is allowed to say those things isn’t the question; the question is, what are they going to do differently moving forward?

I, like many others in the BU community, prompt the Binghamton Review to better take responsibility of its actions instead of casting the blame on the people who were offended. Own up to the fact that the article was homophobic and had no basis in verifiable fact. Everyone has their eyes on you; we’re waiting to see what you’ll do.

Sarah Molano is a junior double-majoring in English and philosophy, politics and law.