BBC threatens the jobs and livelihoods of commenters

The BBC has a newish “privacy and cookies policy” that has some undesirable features. If you go to pp. 15-16 on the linked document, you’ll see the following diktat:

This is reprehensible. Now of course if the Beeb has reasonable evidence that you’ve really broken the law, then, yes, they should report crimes to the police. And they certainly have the right to remove any comment you make that they don’t like. Still, must they be Pecksniffs for defamation?

And what does “defamatory” really mean? Does that mean when a commenter insults somebody? Does the reporting-to-the-boss function include anything the Beeb deems “offensive, inappropriate, or objectionable content”?

And what is this business about informing your employer or school? It’s not enough, it seems, to report you to the cops, even if the cops determine that your behavior is in fact legal. Nope, the BBC will take it upon themselves to try to ruin your life by also ratting on you to your boss or school.  What on earth is going on here?

A few responding tw**ts:

73 Comments

  1. yiamcross
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    And this why it’s wise to use a nom du net or sock account when engaging in an abargument which may be controversial. Not because it gives free rein to abuse, defame and insult but because so many on the net now employ tactics pioneered by Scientology of throwing shit until some sticks.

  2. Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    That’s called doxing. It’s generally regarded as a deplorable practice of internet hackers.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Why doesn’t BBC just say they have elected itself police and will do all they can to wreck your life if they feel like it. Have a nice day.

    • darrelle
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Police, judge, jury and executioner.

    • Posted May 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      + 1. The BBC was a voice of freedom when I was young, alas.

  4. Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Well thanks for that. I had an account from going to a radio show recording. Now they have added all these crap extra terms & conditions, I had to sign in, add a – false – postcode & DoB – in order to create a new account so I could delete the old one.

    Bog off Big Brother…

  5. Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    A couple of points about the minutiae here…

    1. I suspect ‘defamatory’ here refers to slanderous or libellous under British law; broadly speaking, making an allegation about somebody or something without evidence or the defence of fair comment.

    2. Most of the BBC is now supported entirely by UK residents paying the obligatory licence fee of £147. That works out at 40p (about 52c) per day.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      The license fee is not obligatory. It is only relevant if you possess equipment capable of receiving and decoding broadcast or internet-transmitted television signals. (They added the internet thing a couple of years ago, and yes, that was “possess”, not “use”. Whether you also need to have the iPlayer software is I think an untested point, as is if you have non-iPlayer equivalent software such as the Channel4 equivalent.) If you don’t choose to own such equipment, you don’t need to pay the license fee.
      I chose to not have such equipment from 1993 until after my marriage in 2004, and had several run-ins with the Beeb’s enforcers in that time. They’re pathetic – always out in the driving rain, don’t have right f entry to either land or property, they don’t have (or use) detection equipment but just rely on the TV-license purchase records. Really quite pathetic. But if the alternative is having advertising on TV, then I’m happy (-ish) to pay the TV licensing fee.

      • Griff
        Posted May 21, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        It’s the USE OF not the POSSESSION OF that requires a licence.

      • Posted May 22, 2017 at 3:33 am | Permalink

        I always understood the legislation related to consuming BBC content, not having the kit to do it.

        I was trying to make a general point, especially for those on the western side of the Atlantic, about how the BBC is financed.

        At around 40p/day, it is about the best value-for-money must-payment there is. The BBC does produce some dross, but I never have any problem finding enough TV/radio/web content to make it worthwhile.

        The BBC does set benchmarks for quality and training. Many people who do knock the BBC are political conservatives, some of whom have vested broadcasting interests, who seem to think the market is the answer to everything. It isn’t. Maybe they haven’t seen the utter shit served up by Silvio Berlusconi’s gutter-level operations in Italy or think it’s just the type of moronic nonsense that should be clogging up the airwaves.

        Another way to look at the licence fee is that for £145 a year you get programming free of commercial advertising (maybe 15 minutes per hour). You do get BBC promotional material (maybe five minutes per hour).

        People can do their own cost-benefit analysis based on their hourly earnings and work out for themselves whether public service broadcasting based on this level of fee is value for money or not.

        • Griff
          Posted May 22, 2017 at 3:53 am | Permalink

          Not BBC content – any TV program that is broadcast ‘live’.

          You may only watch live satellite feeds from Russia. You still have to give the BBC their £140.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          For comparison, back when I paid for such things, the lowest package from Murdoch was £35/month or £420/year. Which is, as you say, considerably more than the BBC fee.
          Naturally, Murdoch (pere et fils, or is it donor and clones?) utterly hate such competition. The smarmy+bearded one has an operation too but I don’t know his prices.

  6. Stephen Mynett
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    This would be the same BBC that is widely believed to have covered up the paedophile activities of Jimmy Saville and others while they were employees.

    10 or 20 years ago I would have supported the BBC in many things but they have declined so much that they are hardly worth saving.

  7. Posted May 18, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    But “defamatory” stuff? What does that mean? Does that mean when insult somebody?

    Actually, that’s the easy one to work out. “Defamatory” means anything that falls foul of British libel law. It’s saying nasty things about people that could cause them damage in some material way.

    It’s the other stuff that would worry me: what is “objectionable”.

    As for the bit about informing your employer and the law etc. I think that is more in the way of a warning than a threat. You may say things that the BBC feels it is morally required to pass on to your employer, for example if you admit to stealing from them.

    • Craw
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      “May” be defamatory. No standard of evidence.
      You give them more credit that I do.

      • Posted May 19, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        What standard of evidence do they need to apply to their own web site?

        They reserve the right to pull anything if they think they might get sued for libel for it. It’s pretty much the only sane policy.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      “Defamatory” means anything that falls foul of British libel law.

      A specific thing for Americans to note : unless the law has changed recently, proving that what you said to defame someone is true is not a defence. The offence is in damaging someone’s reputation, not in telling lies about them.
      No, the law wasn’t made to enable the truth to be said. It was made to stop embarrassing information (true or not) being published.

      • Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        WOW! No kidding?! That’s as bad as any blasphemy law, maybe worse, as it makes mortal men deserving of an honest take-down of their reputations just as privileged as gods!

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          Yes, no kidding.
          Were you under the erroneous impression that the legal system was set up to benefit the general populace?

        • Posted May 21, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          No it’s not true.

          Justification is a valid defence.

      • Posted May 21, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        This is false.

        People have defended libel cases in the UK by proving that what they said was true. For example, the Guardian and Grenada TV successfully defended a libel case brought by Jonathan Aitken by proving their allegations were true.

        Also, the most famous British libel trial of them all – Oscar Wilde versus the Marquess of Queensbury = failed because Queensbury’s allegations turned out to be true.

  8. Posted May 18, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place and commented:
    This is bizarre.

  9. Griff
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    So glad I don’t pay the licence fee.

    • Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      May I ask how this works? I suppose with T.V. it’s pretty easy (BBC can easily monitor what people watch) but how is this done with radio?

      • Griff
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        No licence is required to listen to radio. Only to watch or record TV programs as they’re being broadcast.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          No licence is required to listen to radio.

          Not since the early 1990s – I forget the exact year. Before then there was a distinct radio receiver license required for possessing a radio receiver.
          There was this thing called World War 2, when there was a lot of concern about spies. Which was why you had to register your receiver with the Police (actually, Post Office, who passed info to the Police). When TV licenses were introduced in the 1947 (IIRC) Wireless Telegraphy Act, then they included the radio license as standard. But until about 1990-91, you could get a separate radio license, and strictly you needed one.

          • Griff
            Posted May 21, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

            The radio only licence abolished on 1 February 1971

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        I suppose with T.V. it’s pretty easy (BBC can easily monitor what people watch)

        Run that past me again. How exactly are they going to do that?
        They have certainly made that claim, repeatedly, in the past, but they’ve never published how they do it. Generally, they doorstep people, trick their way into the premises, then use their witness statements. If you know of a case where they’ve actually used only “detector van” evidence without supporting witness evidence, please enlighten me.
        In the past, I suspected that they picked up the stray radiation from the UHF to VHF heterodyne amplifier (“het”) that collects the aerial signal and boosts it to levels that the signal-extraction hardware can handle. With discrete component hets, that would work fine because they leak like sieves and broadcast RF noise everywhere. But when component manufacturers introduced single-box het units in a standardised layout with well-designed RF shielding, the broadcast RF power dropped precipitously. (I spent some time researching this, when I needed a video player for courses when I didn’t have a TV. Video players cost dozens as time as much as video recorders with play back capability.)
        However, as people started moving to using computer monitors as TV screens, that whole technology has gone out of the window and into the set-top box. And shielding standards continue to rise. It would be a much harder piece of signal detection to do these days with the replacement of broadcast UHF signals by digital signals. (Still do-able, but you’re up with police and spoof technologies now. Not what you put in dozens of vans patrolling the country.)
        Picking up noise from radio receivers follows the same principles. Look for the signal from the het rather than the much more variable signal from the aerial equipment.
        Ah, the things you need to try when engaged in electronic warfare with hunt supporters. They’re trying to listen into your radio comms, and you’re trying to listen in to theirs ; they’re trying to detect who or where the comms van is in order to beat seven colours of shit out of the sabs inside ; you’re trying to avoid that. Constant warfare. Red Queen’s race.

  10. Curt Nelson
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Being Pecksniffs about it – I like that.

  11. Tom
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    The Goons, a 1950’s comedy team called the BBC the Big Brother Corporation.
    Yes, the viewers pay for it, which is one up on George Orwell’s state.
    The Beeb may well find that they are on shaky legal ground here since disclosing personal information ie the name of a sock commenter to an unauthorised 3rd party (an employer) may well contravene the law.
    On a separate site today (English-The Conversation)the writer mentioned “soft censoring” in Iran, this is the UK’s version.

    • Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      “Yes, the viewers pay for it, which is one up on George Orwell’s state.”

      Not really. In Part 1, Chapter 8, Winston finds a room in the prole district that he can rent for meetings with Julia:

      ‘There’s no telescreen!’ he could not help murmuring.

      ‘Ah,’ said the old man, ‘I never had one of those things. Too expensive. And I never seemed to feel the need of it, somehow…

      • Tom
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Sorry, the service is provided by the BBC not the screen.
        I gave up on both years ago.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      The Beeb may well find that they are on shaky legal ground here since disclosing personal information ie the name of a sock commenter to an unauthorised 3rd party (an employer) may well contravene the law.

      Before they put this into their Ts&Cs they’d probably have had some ground instability, but now it’s in the Ts&Cs they’re probably OK. For events in the future.

  12. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The beeb is an incredibly important British institution, routinely accused of right-wing bias by the left and left-wing bias by the right. I don’t know enough about this story to say whether it is as out-of-order as it appears, but the quote from Paul Watson is almost enough to make me dismiss it out of hand, what with him being a consistently dishonest, ranting conspiracy theorist with all the sense of proportion of the average Daily Stormer headline.

    Re. the other comments on the BBC in this thread; bear in mind that the one thing that unites the far-left and the Tory right is how dearly they would like to see the BBC not just restrained but outright destroyed. Certainly that has been the aim of the right-wing press ever since its inception. The Murdoch-owned papers are even more fervent, for obvious reasons.

    • Griff
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Perhaps because they have to compete with an organisation that has an unfair competitive advantage – i.e., they can squeeze £140 per year out of people even if they don’t want to consume their product.

      • Posted May 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        So BBC collects the “license fee” whether one watches or not (I asked above how this would be done for, say, BBC radio service)?

        License fee you can’t get out of paying. That’s a not very imaginative way of saying “tax”.

        • Griff
          Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Yes.

          You have to pay the fee, EVEN if the program you want to watch was not produced by the BBC.

          You could be watching a Russian satellite program about hamsters, and you’d still have to cough up £140.00 per year for the pleasure.

          If it’s broadcast and live, then you have to pay the fee.

          • Henry Fitzgerald
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            The British license fee system is absurd, yes, but that doesn’t mean the basic idea of a publically owned broadcaster is.

            In Australia the national broadcaster is funded straight from general revenue. It comes to something similar – taxpayers are funding the institution whether or not they even watch TV (or listen to the radio) – but I believe it’s a fairer model, less like a poll tax.

            And having a public broadcaster has enriched the cultural life of our country, as I believe the BBC has probably done for Britain, by increasing the variety of content. Commercial operators tend to resemble one another, but having them plus a public one has resulted in better television in Australia than either kind of provider could have alone – and even the people who only watch commercial TV have benefited. (For instance, the ABC has invested in talent the commercial operators would not have, which the commercial operators have subsequently poached.)

            And in the past, public funding for broadcasting has been the only way for people in remote locations to have television or radio at all.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          License fee you can’t get out of paying.

          It is incredibly easy to not pay the license fee. Simply do not possess equipment (and/ or software-equipment combinations) capable of receiving broadcast television signals.
          If you want that equipment, for example, to prop up the cupboard, then you need to pay the license fee. Simples.

      • Colin McLachlan
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        It is against the law in the UK to install or use a television receiver to watch or record any television programmes as they’re being broadcast without a TV Licence. If you don’t watch television or watch BBC iPlayer you don’t need a licence. The licence fee means that the BBC is free from advertising. It goes towards funding, inter alia, the David Attenborough programmes so often praised on this site.

        • Griff
          Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          It’s not illegal to INSTALL anything, unless you mean by that a device that is used to receive live TV (by definition)

          i.e., you can have a million TV’s in your house and not have to pay the licence unless you use them to receive live TV.

          It’s the act of receiving rather than the hardware that requires the licence.

          Is this your understanding.

          • Colin McLachlan
            Posted May 19, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

            That was a quote from Wikipedia. Otherwise I would have taken your position.

            • Griff
              Posted May 19, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

              The confusion arises because the device is defined by it’s use (according to the Communications Act 2003)

              So a TV doesn’t become ‘television receiving equipment’, unless and until it’s used to receive live broadcast tv.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

            It’s the act of receiving rather than the hardware that requires the licence.

            The possession (not necessarily ownership) of the equipment is the act that requires licensing. See my comments up-thread about the origins of this in WW2 for the reasons.

            • Griff
              Posted May 21, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

              You’re mistaken. The Communications Act 2003 requires a licence to install TV receiving equipment, true.

              But the act goes further to define TV receiving equipment as any device installed FOR THE PURPOSE of receiving live broadcast TV. The device is defined by its use.

              You can own a million TVs, and as far as the Communications Act 2003 goes, not one of them is TV receiving equipment unless they’re used for that purpose.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted May 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

                Ah well, they’ve changed the law since I was fighting with it then. Bloody lawyers.
                I doubt the defence “it wasn’t being used” cuts any ice though. In which case you’re still being fined for possession, unless you’ve actually got a witness who saw the equipment in use.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted May 19, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        OTOH, they are also massively constrained by the Trust and subsequently Ofcom; the constant, critical vigilance of the right- and left-wing media and the political pressures of the government of the day. It’s an open secret that the BBC has had to be scrupulously careful when dealing with Brexit, immigration and any conservative hobby-horses so as not to give the Tories the kind of excuse they are thirsting for. Recent appointees to deal with the situation, culture secretaries for example, have been openly hostile to the BBC, and have made their influence known in no uncertain terms.

        The idea that the BBC is some kind of tentacular white elephant, arrogantly hoovering up people’s money is an invention. It is one of the most constrained media organisations on earth, precisely because of the license fee which obligates it to tailor its content in a very specific way, and pressure from both sides of the political divide has resulted in arguably the most reliable, objective news organisation in the anglophone world. It’s also responsible for some of the greatest television ever made. Compare that with the entirely commercial stations in Britain, like ITV and Channel 5 – They are wastelands of gibbering, gurning shite, a third of which is adverts. They churn out insulting, moronic rubbish and stumble upon maybe one good show every couple of years. Historically, their legacies are embarrassing.
        The kind of person who wants a pure, free-market approach and the privatisation of the beeb is intentionally or otherwise advocating a world where the only decent TV is made abroad.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          The idea that the BBC is some kind of tentacular white elephant, arrogantly hoovering up people’s money is an invention.

          But, but, but I read it all the time in newspapers owned by multi-national megalomaniacal corporations with huge interests in TV broadcasting. Are you telling me they’re lieing to me?

    • Craw
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps Coyne is in on this, deviously posting the BBC notice for all to read.

  13. Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I’m no lawyer, never mind a british one, but I take it that “defamation” is a crime or something.

  14. somer
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Absolutely disgusting – they treat fair comment as an opportunity to potentially ruin someone. Who are they to make this call? They are not judges or legislators. I hope the UK government takes appropriate action to discourage this from ever happening again. Except free speech exceptions have suited British politicians. Britain is the land of Libel and slander laws where the onus is on the defendant to prove innocence and where the the libel/slander can be considered a criminal offence. It discourages free speech shuts up those with little money, and no doubt discourages criticism of the wealthy and powerful. Look at the appalling case of Deborah Lipstadt having to prove the historicity of the Holocaust in “History on Trial” because a book of hers about US reaction to the situation of Jews in lead up to and during WW2 mentioned David Irving as a holocaust denialist. David Irving sued her – and she had to raise millions of dollars for her case where he just represented himself. She won the case in the end – after years away from her academic position preparing for/appearing in court.

    • Tom
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes, there is also the danger that the identity of a whistleblowing employee may be exposed to their employer.
      The Beeb has not thought this through.

      • somer
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        That’s true – I wonder if the Beeb here want to take the path of least resistance to lower the chances of offending their paymasters whilst policing the other side of the political spectrum the “powerless and marginalised” by clamping down on behalf of some left causes.

        Since its publicly funded – Comments are good feedback as to what different sectors of society think about the issues that might not otherwise be reflected/investigated on future programs. Comments aren’t filtered by a show host’s responses to them.

        If the nature of comments is becoming really abusive or uninformed – have fewer things open to comments (or automatically cut out at certain number of comments) and more moderators. Maybe now the Tories are likely to be all powerful for the next few years they are running scared libel laws.

        • Posted May 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          Their paymasters are us.

          • Posted May 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            The money may be yours, but I’m guessing the masters of that money are government officials.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

              Below the board of the BBC, there are no government employees. That’s one of the reasons the government fears, hates and distrusts them. (And everyone else.)

              • Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

                Then why does the BBC feel a need to… Please fill in the blank for me. I trust you to do it well.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

                Damned if I know. I’m not here to defend the BBC’s policies.

      • somer
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        and as Saul Sorrell-Till commented in the high charged electoral climate between polar extremes in which the Tories are likely to come out as unchallenged power of the next few years – a stream of public comments denigrating the government (or Corbyn causes) might give the Tories that extra excuse to slash the Beeb. Sad that the UK govt has in the past shown itself so willing to intervene in the nation broadcaster.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I hope the UK government takes appropriate action to discourage this from ever happening again. Except free speech exceptions have suited British politicians.

      Your statements are correct. That is why there is negligible chance of those laws being changed by politicians.

  15. Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s the kind of thing fascist groups like Redwatch do.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redwatch

    The BBC has found itself in the same position as The Guardian in that it finds its readers vehemently disagree with them. Unable to argue their case The Guardian disabled comments on controversial subjects (i.e. subjects on which they are clearly in the wrong).

    The BBC has taken a step beyond this, into cyber-vigilantism.

    These are people who would have got you sacked if you had accused Jimmy Savile of molesting you.

  16. Posted May 18, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    This is an organisation that, a month or so back, asked what the appropriate punishment for blasphemy is.

    Are they going to disclose the personal details of people who live in Pakistan who offend local values by expressing doubts about Islam?

  17. Craw
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Don’t post anything on Rotherham or we’ll call your boss and neighbours, you bigot.

    • somer
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t be surprised if theres a streak of PC in the Beeb since its permeated so many institutions in the west. I scarcely look at the Economist which is famous for having a set house style – but I do remember how socially conservative and also semi imperialist its stance was many years ago. Now it seems to be very pro diversity even bordering on identity politics, lots of migration etc. Of course big growth benefits big business whilst its governments and ordinary taxpayers that have to foot the social service/health education/infrastructure bill. This chimes with the modern left. And of course humanities oriented professions have been affected by PC. And then middle class British culture hates to offend and seems to have adopted a kind of genteel identity politics especially as middle class people are unlikely to live near the most intolerant elements of Islam or very conservative cultures. Meanwhile the Tories like to protect the established church and in the process protect faith schools and other religious perks overall.

  18. Posted May 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    When the first clock stopped working and was still right twice a day, it was inspired by Joseph Paul Watson and his buddies. The guy is one example of the Breitbartian Truther-Trump-Conspiracy scene associated with the Alt Right (for good reason), which is becoming fashionable lately in the atheist-skeptics-rationals(TM) corner. 😦

  19. BJ
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    My universe, is this scary. BBC has been slowly sliding into full regressive mode for awhile. Now they’re taking on the tactic of “express the wrong opinion and we will get you fired,” like the worst of the activists.

    I used to have SO much respect for the BBC. The worst part is every person in the UK has to pay for their operations.

  20. Posted May 18, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps someone should create a parallel page where freedom of speech can reign and encourage all comers to boycott commenting on the BBC’s own page. After all, the real purpose of the comment page of a for-profit company is to advertize in the margins and between comments. Deny them that potential income (based on number of viewers who see the ads by scrolling through the comments) and still provide a place for all who wish to have their say — I say!

    • somer
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      It would be better if the BBC allowed no comments than have Big Brother comments. Publications like Private Eye and free Sites like Order Order are a nice antidote but there need to be more free speech news and comments sites. Monied backers are likely to be disconcerted by the libel laws.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Perhaps someone should create a parallel page where freedom of speech can reign and encourage all comers to boycott commenting on the BBC’s own page.

      Are you going to pay the web hosting and traffic for that? And for the moderation staff?

      After all, the real purpose of the comment page of a for-profit company

      Stop right there. The BBC is not a for-profit company. So you’ve ruled your comment out of consideration while typing it.

      is to advertize in the margins and between comments.

      True for for-profit organisations. And not relevant, as the BBC is not a for-profit company. Which might also explain why they don’t do that.

      Deny them that potential income

      They don’t do it.
      Note : I’m commenting about the domain bbc.co.uk ; I have literally no idea what happens on BBC.com because I’ve never been to it’s website. BBC.com is a for-profit company owned wholly by the BBC, whose profits go to supporting the BBC’s other activities. So if that is happening on BBC.com, then it reduces our license fees.

      • Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        It was just an idea. Sorry to have upset you over it. I’m not computer savvy enough to have considered your first points, and I am familiar only with BBC.com, not BBC.co.uk, so I apologize profusely for my comment being so completely ill-informed, out of line, and worthy of harsh response.


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