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BBC Spews: What are the BBC Playing At?
neuro comment 2 Comments

Just sifting through some tech stories on the BBC News site this morning, and chatting about it to folk on IRC, there are some reporting discrepancies that really wound me up. Hey, what’s new; I love railing on the BBC for minor screw-ups, but for BBC News to get things wrong like this doesn’t bode well.

  • File-sharing ‘darknet’ unveiled
    “A “darknet” service that allows users to share music files anonymously on the web has been launched in Sweden”, squeals the first paragraph. The problem is, that the service — Relakks — costs €5, or 49 swedish krona per month. How can something be anonymous when you have to pay for it? However, the critical part is that it isn’t a “darknet”. Wikipedia currently defines darknet as “a private virtual network where users only connect to people they trust”. Relakks is a PPTP VPN service which allows all your Internet traffic to be sent via a PPTP server in Sweden, where you will appear to all intents and purposes for IP lookups. This isn’t a darknet, this is a proxy service. Eeshk.
  • Blogs buzz on Dell battery recall
    Stop me if I’m wrong, but of the sites they mention — The Inquirer, The Register, Slashdot, Ars Technica and Engadget — only one, Engadget, is by definition a “blog”. I’m pretty certain Slashdot would refute the blog label, and The Inquirer, Ars and el reg are news outlets. Is the BBC trying to belittle online tech news sites by calling them “blogs”, and in the process attempting to lead naive readers to see the Beeb as one of the only authoritative news sites? Thanks to sporkle for that one
  • Smash hit for internet chav guide
    Decapitalizing “Internet” (it’s the Internet, not an internet) aside, this is a story about two girls from Somerset who got 30,000 hits on their YouTube-submitted video called “How to Be a Perfect Chav”. A quick flick onto YouTube reveals videos about a cat crapping into a toilet (~ 646,000 hits), a dog humping a cat (~ 260,000 hits), someone making pancakes (~ 299,000 hits), and Gizmodo showing off the new Sony Mylo (~ 820,000 hits). Really, 30,000 hits is a drop in the bucket – many popular YouTube submissions have millions of hits, some even only a week or two after being uploaded.

Come on, BBC, do yer job.

  1. It’s not only the lack of fact checking (and spell checking too it seems) but it really appears like the BBC are scraping the bottom of the internets news barrel for somethng… anything

    Either that or they have a Digg account and are systematically reposting shitty dugg stories…

  2. It’s not just the BBC. For example, the Times Online are also talking about the Dell Battery recall (link).

    Now whilst I appreciate that this is an important and useful subject, the recall was issued in December of last year (link). The above article from the Times uses an image the Inquirer published back in June (link) and if I’m not mistaken was taken at a conference in May. So you have to ask why it’s taken them this long to pick up on the story in the first place.

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