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Clock on BBC website homepage

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Messages: 1 - 33 of 33
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Surfdoc (U14449989) on Wednesday, 5th June 2013

    I think the clock on the BBC Homepage is a nice addition, it reflects the past when it regularly used to appear on our screens before CGI technology took over. It's been there for 3 years and it made me smile when it first appeared. Then I hear that some ridiculous complainer with far too much time on his hands wants it removed because the time on it isn't accurate if his own computer clock is wrong! I mean who ever relies on that tiny clock in order to catch a train or go for an important meeting? I suggest no one does. I believe the majority of us have one attached to either our left or right wrists most of the time and several other time pieces hanging around us too.
    I really can't decide if I'm annoyed more about this jobsworth complainer or the spineless BBC committee who have acceded to his complaint and 'banned' the clock. Tony Hall needs to start building a new backbone for the BBC and stop such silly decisions based on nothing but one vexatious complaint.

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Wednesday, 5th June 2013

    What has the decision got to do with Tony Hall??????

    The issue was decided by the Trust see downloads.bbc.co.uk/... at page 5.

    Their conclusion and direction on our behalf is

    """The Committee concluded that the BBC Executive should, within a reasonable time frame, remedy the situation to ensure that the BBC complies with its requirement to ensure due accuracy in all its output. The Trustees accepted that it is for the Executive to take an operational decision on how to rectify the breach of the Guidelines found by the Committee. """

    It is up to Tony Hall to find the way of complying - which looks like being the clock's removal.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    Trust upholds BBC Online clock complaint

    www.bbc.co.uk/news/e...

    The BBC Trust has upheld a complaint that the clock on the BBC homepage was "inaccurate and misleading".

    The complaint from a user of the site said that although readers assume the clock is correct, it merely reproduces the time on the user's computer.

    The Trust said having a clock which does not state it derives its time from a user's computer is not consistent with BBC guidelines on accuracy.

    A BBC spokeswoman said the clock would be removed "in an upcoming update".

    "The BBC takes accuracy very seriously," the corporation said in a statement.

    "Given the technical complexities of implementing an alternative central clock, and the fact that most users already have a clock on their computer screen, the BBC has taken the decision to remove the clock from the Homepage in an upcoming update."

    The Trust said the BBC had not "knowingly" misled users.

    The editorial standards committee said that in response to the complaint, the managing editor of BBC Online had said there were two reasons why the site did not offer an accurate, independently generated clock.

    Firstly, the system required to do this "would dramatically slow down the loading of the BBC homepage", something which he said was "an issue of great importance to the site's users".

    Secondly, if the site moved to a format in which users across the world accessed the same homepage, irrespective of whichever country they were in, it would be "impossible to offer a single zonally-accurate clock".


    The BBC had asked its product management team to investigate the issue and it had reported back to the committee that it would take about 100 staffing days to make the changes involved in switching to an independent clock.

    This could not be justified given the high level of perceived user satisfaction with the clock and an absence of complaints about it, the BBC said.

    The committee concluded that the BBC management should, within a reasonable time frame, "remedy the situation", ensuring that the corporation complies with its requirement to "ensure due accuracy in all its output".

    The Trustees accepted that it is for BBC management to take an operational decision on how to rectify the breach of the guidelines.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    Seriously? The BBC Trust gets involved in an issue with a clock on a BBC website? Talk about micro-managing.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    They have no choice. They can't just brush aside some complaints and take no action, they have to deal with them all.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Hey thats my fish (U15732334) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    No, it isn't micro-management; it is the playing out of the appeals process at the BBC. Having said that, I think that in this case, the decision is wrong.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    But not at a BBC Trust level surely? That's like the board of BP getting involved because someone pulled up to a BP filling station and complained that the air line wasn't working.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Hey thats my fish (U15732334) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    But it IS like a case in law making its way up to the Supreme Court. Within the BBC there is a very specific process of appeal which allows cases to be referred to the BBC Trust.

    Here is something tht might help:

    www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    I'm sure the complainant is feeling very smug and self satisfied at wasting so much money it must of cost for this complaint over such a silly matter.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Hey thats my fish (U15732334) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    smiley - ok

    What astonished me was that the complainant said that the issue of the clock made it difficult to trust the BBC. It is not important enough to worry about (in my opinion).

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by AmosBurke (U8229185) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    We have a clock on the intranet where I work. Guess what? The time can be wrong as it picks it up from the PC accessing the web page. AFAIK all Java clocks do this. If the Java script had to pickup the time from an NTP server, the client PC would have to issue another web request, just to display the time. The increase in network traffic would be huge.

    Rather than deleting the clock, stick a disclaimer on it that it might be wrong.

    My wrist watch is wrong at the mo. Maybe I should send it back to Timex to get them to correct it for me.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Justnow (U2498091) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    I dont recall ever seeing a clock on the BBC website - where is/was it, has it been removed now?

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    This page top left.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Justnow (U2498091) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    Thanks Testcard I still cant see it, must be something to do with my browser at work - I will check again when im at home later on this evening.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    Directly above the image of Mary Portas (in my browser), and quite small.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    Or it could be that it is so small and innocuous you just don't notice it and could even think it is a logo.

    It's that little thing directly to the left of London and the date. smiley - smiley

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Justnow (U2498091) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    OH that clock smiley - doh never noticed it before smiley - ok

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Surfdoc (U14449989) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    Precisely, it's so small and insignificant, yet this jobsworth complainer decided it was up to him to prove a ridiculous point. Name one person who would dream of using it as their main time piece -not even the pedant who complained. It was simply vexatious and unnecessary and certainly shouldn't have been escalated to the level that it has. I have several websites that tell me I'm in London, even when I can be several thousand miles away. Yet I seem to manage quite well by looking out my window and realising that I am actually somewhere else. This kind of complaint is made by either the stupid or the bored.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Surfdoc (U14449989) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    There could be a decision which reflected the high degree of satisfaction of most other people, rather than one solitary complainer. I can appreciate that to make the clock into something that it was never intended -ie a clock that everyone was relying on for the precise time correct to the atomic clock, was not a reasonable or practical solution. However, the solution wasn't to remove it all together. It would be to make everyone aware that if their own computer clock was inaccurate then this would be reflected in the BBC clock on their browser (and for that matter every other time indicator on all web pages on all browsers). There has now been enough publicity given to this farce that there shouldn't be any ignorance.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Onslow The Cat (U13672446) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    Name one person who would dream of using it as their main time piece -not even the pedant who complained 

    Unless the complainant was working for a rival corporation.

    A few years ago some pedant caused about £350,000 of work and the withdrawal of a whole fleet of overground trains because the rolling info on the in-carriage screens was 2mm under the regulation height.

    The BBC clock should simply be labelled *Your Computer Time* and the matter should rest.

    smiley - blackcat

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Hey thats my fish (U15732334) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    The BBC clock should simply be labelled *Your Computer Time* and the matter should rest.  But that is too simple, too sensible and too obvious. And, it would have saved a lot of money.

    I can see it now. "BBC spends too much money on dealing with complaints." smiley - doh Not fair, but some are bound to be thinking it.

    Anyway, I think it is a pity that they have chosen the path they have chosen. Perhaps they really didn't see it.

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Thursday, 6th June 2013

    So, just to be clear - someone complains that the clock on the BBC homepage is inaccurate. This complaint leads to the involvement of the Trust, the Editorial Standards Committee, BBC Online, a "product management team" and God only knows how many others layers of management. How many "staffing days" were spent on this, and at what cost? To describe this chain of events as Kafkaesque would be an understatement.

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Friday, 7th June 2013

    So, just to be clear - someone complains that the clock on the BBC homepage is inaccurate. This complaint leads to the involvement of the Trust, the Editorial Standards Committee, BBC Online, a "product management team" and God only knows how many others layers of management. How many "staffing days" were spent on this, and at what cost? To describe this chain of events as Kafkaesque would be an understatement.  As I said earlier, the BBC and the Trust can't pick and chose which complaints they want to do something about and reject others willy nilly. They have to process all complaints - and yes, some people do waste time and money with spurious and repeated complaints - I guess that happens with lots of organisations.

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Hey thats my fish (U15732334) on Friday, 7th June 2013

    So, just to be clear - someone complains that the clock on the BBC homepage is inaccurate. This complaint leads to the involvement of the Trust, the Editorial Standards Committee, BBC Online, a "product management team" and God only knows how many others layers of management. How many "staffing days" were spent on this, and at what cost? To describe this chain of events as Kafkaesque would be an understatement. 
    smiley - doh

    I have a great degree of sympathy with the BBC on this. I acccept that it has to be looked at, for the reasons put forward by Peta, it was escalated by the complainant through all the stages of the complaints process, NOT handled by all these layers in addressing the problem in the first place; I just think that Onslow's would have been the better response. I think that to call it Kafkaesque is just plain wrong; it isn't.

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Friday, 7th June 2013

    So, just to be clear - someone complains that the clock on the BBC homepage is inaccurate. This complaint leads to the involvement of the Trust, the Editorial Standards Committee, BBC Online, a "product management team" and God only knows how many others layers of management. How many "staffing days" were spent on this, and at what cost? To describe this chain of events as Kafkaesque would be an understatement.  As I said earlier, the BBC and the Trust can't pick and chose which complaints they want to do something about and reject others willy nilly. They have to process all complaints - and yes, some people do waste time and money with spurious and repeated complaints - I guess that happens with lots of organisations.  Peta, any other organisation would have a Customer Services department to deal with such issues, frivolous or otherwise. They would in all likelihood write to the complainant along the lines of "...thank you for your letter. We are aware of this issue, but unfortunately, owing to the technology involved, we cannot guarantee the absolute accuracy of the clock..." Or, "...we are aware of the issue, and have decided to remove the clock from our webpage..."

    I still can't understand how your internal systems can allow such a complaint to reach the dizzy heights of the Trust.

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Friday, 7th June 2013

    www.bbc.co.uk/compla...

    What happens next:
    We will investigate possible breaches of standards, but in order to use your licence fee proportionately will not reply in detail to other points such as comments, further questions or matters of opinion. For consistency and to minimise costs, if we receive other complaints about the same issue we will send the same reply to everyone and may publish a response on this website or in Corrections and clarifications.

    We email or post over 90% of replies within 2 weeks (10 working days) but cannot always guarantee this. It will also depend on what your complaint is about, how many others we have and practical issues such as whether a production team is on location or otherwise away.

    If you are dissatisfied with our reply you should re-contact us in writing within 20 working days explaining why. You may be able to take the issue further to stage 2 and if so we will explain how. This is normally either to the independent Editorial Complaints Unit or relevant senior management. We publish the findings of complaints upheld or resolved by the Editorial Complaints Unit and those considered at stage 3 on appeal by the BBC Trust in Complaints reports.

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by Surfdoc (U14449989) on Friday, 7th June 2013

    I can see this is what happened to the original complainant's complaint, it was escalated up all the stages and then hit the top. The committee that considered it should have taken account of the likely expense of resolving the matter and then rejected it on the basis of cost. I can't see any other organisation bowing to a single complaint of this nature and then removing the offending item. The clue is in the fact that it was ONE person, not 10s or 100s or 1000s of complaints, but just one who is effectively calling the shots. That's not democracy, which the BBC should also be upholding in addition to accuracy.

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Friday, 7th June 2013

    What is interesting is that the BBC Compaints page says this:
    "If you have a complaint about a BBC item which was broadcast or published, either online or in a BBC owned magazine, you should normally complain within 30 working days of the transmission or publication..."
    I interpret this to mean a reasonable complaint about the content of a programme or item, not the font used in a chest caption, the colour of a presenter's tie or the accuracy of a clock on a BBC website. Someone at the BBC should have used a modicum of common sense and put a stop to the escalation of the complaint before it got out of hand. I stand by what I said in an earlier post - Kafkaesque.

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Onslow The Cat (U13672446) on Friday, 7th June 2013

    you should normally complain within 30 working days of the transmission or publication 

    I bet the clock's been about for longer than that. Interesting use of the word *normally*.

    Has such escalation been used regarding the complaints about BGM, bad language and poor grammar?

    smiley - blackcat

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by yellowcat (U218155) on Monday, 10th June 2013

    Amazing that the BBC responds so quickly to something so trivial but many true complaints are dealt with by a 'go away and stop bothering us WE KNOW BEST' attitude.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by Hey thats my fish (U15732334) on Monday, 10th June 2013

    Ooh look:

    www.dailymail.co.uk/...

    It's under Science and Technology smiley - laugh.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by The man who sailed around his soul (U5846227) on Monday, 10th June 2013

    The weather symbol for my regional homepage is showing grey cloud but the sun's out!

    BBC Trust, here I come.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by donthangup (U4619965) on Thursday, 13th June 2013

    As a related digression it is worth remembering that the BBC stopped displaying its clock on TV screens around the time of going digital. This was because the indeterminate delay of one or two seconds caused by the digital codec process meant that the second hand was not accurate.

    So there is a precedent for all of this.

    However I still think the complainant about this website clock was being deliberately vexatious. Effectively, vandalism with a complaint form.

    Report message33

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