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BBC policy RE: The POV board

Messages: 1 - 23 of 23
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Wednesday, 4th December 2013

    I had a sign in problem for the best part of a year and tried to contact the BBC about it quite a few times. Very difficult. Central Communities don't often answer. When they did they asked for a screenshot, which just said 'sorry you have to be signed in to reply to a message' (the signed in monicker clearly visible on the same screen). Then they didn't answer that several times. Eventually they said it was a technical fault. This went on for months until I evenually tweeted the problem. I got a reply to that tweet and was contacted by 'Membership'. They eventually decided that I'd been banned for disrupting the board about two years ago. As I didn't do that I asked them to supply details - they didn't. They said if you're banned it is Communities - if it is a technical fault - it is Membership.

    If Membership tell you you are banned, for whatever reason they have just made up, they won't talk to you, and if Communities tell you it is a technical fault - they won't talk to you either.

    In the course of progressively more and more frustrated emails I added in the DG, the head of technical, and Chris Patten. None of it did any good. Nobody is even remotely interested - even me, actually, by now.

    In the course of the emailing I had commented that I thought the BBC Trust was not fit for purpose, and someone rang me up and asked if I would make a 20 sec video about that, which I did. It was on POV last week! I also found myself on Feedback on the radio complaining about the BGN which is seeping in on Radio 4, someone had rung me up about an email I had sent them on that topic. Funny two in a week having been totally ignored for decades - but I guess that is the way it works. It brings home the ephemeral nature of things anyway. Perhaps my Premium Bonds will exploit this warp in the fifth dimension with a couple of prizes.

    I'd been on the TV and the radio and still couldn't sign in; so I changed my email address from Gmail to Yahoo - and here I am. I don't know if there is an issue with Gmail?

    I notice now I am here that some links don't seem to work, e.g. the Unsubscribe one is only intermittent. Bits of threads seem to go missing, and a lot of stuff is removed. That may be legitimate but I can't see any explanations as to why.

    I don't think the programme makers come here to look? Not seen any evidence of it. I posted a technical point on a programme I'd seen which should have interested the people who made the programme even if it didn't interest anyone else, which it didn't.

    So the Q. is does the board have a purpose?

    As far as I can see the BBC doesn't exploit it meaningfully. POV is a very short programme anyway - and yet we have 70 people at the BBC Trust to tell us what we want.

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by banjax (U14499510) ** on Wednesday, 4th December 2013

    Sorry to learn of your frustration Permtong. At the risk of being pedantic there are currently 11 members of the BBC Trust (The Trustees) and not 70 as you suggest.

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

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Wednesday, 4th December 2013

    Sorry to learn of your frustration Permtong. At the risk of being pedantic there are currently 11 members of the BBC Trust (The Trustees) and not 70 as you suggest.

    www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru... 
    I think they have a total staff of 70. Use your link and navigate to 'Trust Unit'.

    The Trustees are vetted by government ministers to assure the complete independence of the BBC, and the Chair - Chris Patten is a direct government appointee who sits on the board that selects the others. Once again, to assure the 'complete independence' of the BBC.

    Lord Young didn't seem to see any irony in all this and described Chris Patten as a 'phenomenally independent minded' person.

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Wednesday, 4th December 2013


    So the Q. is does the board have a purpose?
     


    This boards purpose as outlined above is to provide reaction on TV programmes and the BBC for TV programme made by BBC NI .

    Th BBC has a complaints process which us his the audience can interact with the programme makers ..
    Both positively and negatively .
    And the BBC employs people to ensure that the programme makers reply ...
    And it is formally reviewed.
    The trust wants it to be better and easier to use and this s happening.

    One serious issue that the BBC has and was very much seen in the recent "redundancy payments" is the the BBC charter splits much responsibility between the trust and the executive Which is silly

    And the separation of the trust and executive which is good.
    .... We all have the last government to blame for a far from ideal way of running the BBC

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Bananas are Santas favourite fruit (U15941072) on Wednesday, 4th December 2013

    For clarity.

    The BBC Trust itself www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...

    Supported by:
    The Trust Unit: www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...
    Audience Councils: www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...

    The Trust itself normally has 12 members (See link above) and they are supported by the Trust Unit and Audience Councils.

    (Technically, he is not a government appointee. He was appointed chairman of the Trust through the statutory mechanism of an order-in-council.)

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Sunday, 8th December 2013

    For clarity.

    The BBC Trust itself www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...

    Supported by:
    The Trust Unit: www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...
    Audience Councils: www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...

    The Trust itself normally has 12 members (See link above) and they are supported by the Trust Unit and Audience Councils.

    (Technically, he is not a government appointee. He was appointed chairman of the Trust through the statutory mechanism of an order-in-council.) 
    By way of further clarity,

    'order-in-court' I think has superceded queen-in-court, which probably superceded king-in-court. It ceased to have any meaningful constitutional clout long ago, other than the notional involvement of the monarch, and now is the mechanism for ratifying decisions made by the prime minister although the term 'cabinet' is used because it sounds nicer.

    Chris Pattens appointment was such an overtly political decision that they also took the precaution of getting a select committee to look at it; i.e. another layer of 'government' if not the actual government which had already decided who was going to do the job.

    Plainly the parlimentarians who would all have recognised Chris Patten as one of them found favour with the idea. The establishment at work.

    All assuring the 'complete independence' of the BBC from government as a whole and the government in particular.

    I must confess to a certain fascination as to why people buy into this stuff so easily, but it does help to explain why nothing much changes.

    We should ask ourselves whether the above represents the most completely independent way of separating the BBC from government, particularly as the BBC Trust may now have a fairly short shelf life.

    The Trust Unit is part of the Trust, (clue in the name) totalling about 70 staff, and the Audience Councils come on top of that as far as I know although I am ready to stand corrected on that one. I presume Audience Councils extend beyond the salaried gravy train to 'volunteers', at which point it is probably quite easy to get on one.

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Sunday, 8th December 2013


    So the Q. is does the board have a purpose?
     


    This boards purpose as outlined above is to provide reaction on TV programmes and the BBC for TV programme made by BBC NI .

    Th BBC has a complaints process which us his the audience can interact with the programme makers ..
    Both positively and negatively .
    And the BBC employs people to ensure that the programme makers reply ...
    And it is formally reviewed.
    The trust wants it to be better and easier to use and this s happening.

    One serious issue that the BBC has and was very much seen in the recent "redundancy payments" is the the BBC charter splits much responsibility between the trust and the executive Which is silly

    And the separation of the trust and executive which is good.
    .... We all have the last government to blame for a far from ideal way of running the BBC 
    On inspection it would seem that the BBC could make better use of these board(s) as in their present form very few people seem inclined to use them and I haven't seen a great deal of interest expressed from the programme makers themselves.

    The Trust is certainly something of a (self acknowledged) disaster area. How can a gravy train for the great and the good which is so opaque be of any real benefit to the viewer? The idea of a 'viewer' actually getting on it appears far from reality.

    I think a step forward would be for POV to extend its currently somewhat short episodes so that comment from here isn't affected, and put a different Trust member on every week to explain what they are actually doing. The programmes also need to be archived for longterm availability so that the content can be checked with realty from time to time.

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Sunday, 8th December 2013

    . On inspection it would seem that the BBC could make better use of these board(s) as in their present form very few people seem inclined to use them and I haven't seen a great deal of interest expressed from the programme makers themselves.  

    I pointed out the purpose of thse boards and that the BBC complaints system is the way that the audience member can tell the BBC what they think .. It is monitored ... And the production team has to respond if the audience require it.....
    And like anything in the BBC (except pay and other things banned in the charter)
    The trust monitors this and intervene as required and report on the complaints process see their recent reports .

    The Trust is certainly something of a (self acknowledged) disaster area. How can a gravy train for the great and the good which is so opaque be of any real benefit to the viewer? The idea of a 'viewer' actually getting on it appears far from reality.
     

    Well unlike the governors anyone can apply to be ion the BBC trust or a non exec on BBC executive .....
    They have a vacancy at the moment....
    The trust has to represent the whole of the uk 4 people (charter requirement)
    and two years ago the BBC audiences outside the uk were recognised by the appointment of Lord Williams ... But the trust not by HMG.
    Look at the four + vacancy ... A good mix of backgrounds and knowledge if media outside the BBC including print ... And much non media background.

    My only comment is that in these technological times they could do with an engineer.... Or similar expert ... The vice chair a very eminent economist cannot talk to her husband for advice !!!
    But they with the audience councils and the advisory committees for local radio do reach deep into the communities in the UK that the BBC serves ... See the role spec
    downloads.bbc.co.uk/.....
    Again open to any one to apply ...

    Or you could join the VLV. http://www.vlv.org.uk .... Which is a very useful educational as well as pressure group for ALL. PSBs... And more.

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  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Monday, 9th December 2013

    I think it is a case of anyone can apply, but not anyone can get the job. By the time things have been mangled by government, I mean overseen by the Department of Culture Media and Sport, it is all going to have a certain flavour.

    The idea of promoting engineering, or metal bashing as Nick Robinson famously called it, is a very good one. I think one trustee does have engineering expertise but a bit more wouldn't hurt - particularly when you have people like David Dimbleby referring to The Warrior as 'welded and of cast iron'. At least they usually get the Mary Rose right by saying it is made of wood. Perhaps what we really need is more illiterate people in stovepipe hats.

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  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Bananas are Santas favourite fruit (U15941072) on Monday, 9th December 2013

    No it is NOT part of the Trust. The Trust is a body of **trustees** that is specifically set up and defined under the Royal Charter:


    Constitution of the Trust
    13:Composition of the Trust.
    (1)The Trust shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, and a number of ordinary members.
    (2) The number of ordinary members shall be ten (including those designated under article 14), unless a different number is fixed by Order in Council. It shall not be necessary to fix a lower number by Order in Council merely to reflect the existence of a vacancy which is intended to be filled by a further appointment in due course.
    (3)The Chairman, Vice-Chairman and ordinary members of the Trust shall be appointed by Order in Council. The selection of persons for appointment as ordinary members of the Trust shall take account of the need for designations to be made under article 14.
    (4) Whenever the office of Chairman is vacant, the Vice-Chairman shall be “Acting Chairman” with all the powers of the Chairman until a new Chairman is appointed.
     

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

    The Trust Unit is defined seperately (Sections 42, 43 of the Royal Charter.)
    Members of the Trust Unit are not trustees, which is why they are not members of the Trust, and are the staff intended to support the Trustees.

    The rate of remuneration for the trust is set by the Secretary of State (DCMS), and things such as pensions and expenses are dealt with under rates decided by the Secretary of State. This suggests that while Government and the BBC are separate in theory, in practice, they are not.

    My only purpose in clarifying is to avoid mostly semantic ambiguity; not to take sides.

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  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Tuesday, 10th December 2013

    No it is NOT part of the Trust. The Trust is a body of **trustees** that is specifically set up and defined under the Royal Charter:


    Constitution of the Trust
    13:Composition of the Trust.
    (1)The Trust shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, and a number of ordinary members.
    (2) The number of ordinary members shall be ten (including those designated under article 14), unless a different number is fixed by Order in Council. It shall not be necessary to fix a lower number by Order in Council merely to reflect the existence of a vacancy which is intended to be filled by a further appointment in due course.
    (3)The Chairman, Vice-Chairman and ordinary members of the Trust shall be appointed by Order in Council. The selection of persons for appointment as ordinary members of the Trust shall take account of the need for designations to be made under article 14.
    (4) Whenever the office of Chairman is vacant, the Vice-Chairman shall be “Acting Chairman” with all the powers of the Chairman until a new Chairman is appointed.
     

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

    The Trust Unit is defined seperately (Sections 42, 43 of the Royal Charter.)
    Members of the Trust Unit are not trustees, which is why they are not members of the Trust, and are the staff intended to support the Trustees.

    The rate of remuneration for the trust is set by the Secretary of State (DCMS), and things such as pensions and expenses are dealt with under rates decided by the Secretary of State. This suggests that while Government and the BBC are separate in theory, in practice, they are not.

    My only purpose in clarifying is to avoid mostly semantic ambiguity; not to take sides. 
    A mind boggling exercise in semantics indeed which I think most people wouldn't want to spend too much time on.

    I don't think there are any sides? The original question referred to the value of the POV boards as a way of getting 'consumer' opinion on BBC matters. I feel that more use could be made of them.

    We got somewhat sidetracked by the BBC Trust matter.

    Keeping it simple I hope; Lord Young said on the POV programme that the Chair' of the BBC Trust was appointed by the government, whereas the general belief is that the BBC Trust is independent of government. All the other Trustees are vetted by ministers.

    Do we on balance think this is sufficiently independent of government?

    It doesn't look like it to me. Unfortunately Jeremy Vine didn't pursue the matter, and Lord Young is satisfied that having a Tory grandee who is a friend of the prime minister as chair of the independent body is OK.

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  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Tuesday, 10th December 2013

    Just two points ....
    The trustees are not appointed by the government .. They are recommended by minsters after they have been selected ..
    See from www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...
    Selection process
    Those who apply to be Trustees are shortlisted and interviewed. The interview panel is chaired by a senior civil servant from DCMS and also includes an independent assessor and the BBC Chairman. Their recommendation goes to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, then to the Prime Minister, and finally to the Queen.

    But the substantive point you are trying to make. Which is the use of the boards .

    The BBC has a system for getting the views of the audience by means of the complaints website ...
    As well as events via audience councils and the audience research they do daily.

    This was seen to be good but us being improved .. And deals with over a this and messages from the public each day on a variety if topics. ...

    What benefit is to be got by another way of collecting comments ?

    The Pov site and the emails and letters that the programme gets enables a programme to be made ... And it has changed over the years more to bring the bbc to account... Than to report in the viewers views .
    ( ditto feedback and world have your say for domestic and international radio, and newswatch for news output) .

    You can be sure that these pages and digital spy amongst others are viewed by key BBC staff... Who also read the audience daily log ..... Which is far more inspiring and challenging than the POV board .....

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  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Tuesday, 10th December 2013

    Just two points ....
    The trustees are not appointed by the government .. They are recommended by minsters after they have been selected ..
    See from www.bbc.co.uk/bbctru...
    Selection process
    Those who apply to be Trustees are shortlisted and interviewed. The interview panel is chaired by a senior civil servant from DCMS and also includes an independent assessor and the BBC Chairman. Their recommendation goes to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, then to the Prime Minister, and finally to the Queen.

    But the substantive point you are trying to make. Which is the use of the boards .

    The BBC has a system for getting the views of the audience by means of the complaints website ...
    As well as events via audience councils and the audience research they do daily.

    This was seen to be good but us being improved .. And deals with over a this and messages from the public each day on a variety if topics. ...

    What benefit is to be got by another way of collecting comments ?

    The Pov site and the emails and letters that the programme gets enables a programme to be made ... And it has changed over the years more to bring the bbc to account... Than to report in the viewers views .
    ( ditto feedback and world have your say for domestic and international radio, and newswatch for news output) .

    You can be sure that these pages and digital spy amongst others are viewed by key BBC staff... Who also read the audience daily log ..... Which is far more inspiring and challenging than the POV board .....

     
    Your first point is exactly what I said isn't it? The Chair is a direct government appointment and influences the hoops the others have to jump through. The others are vetted by ministers and rubber stamped by the Queen in her corporation sole capacity.

    Are we satisfied that this is completely independent of government?

    As to the boards, if they are not much use close them perhaps.

    The BBC's complaints procedure is opaque in the extreme and little use to anyone except the complainant, and sometimes not even then. Not everyone is complaining. I am not complaining; merely suggesting there could be other ways of looking at things. (Such temerity, I know!)

    I recall the days when the BBC embraced the internet mode of discussion with a wider scope. Unfortunately it gave too much power to the people.

    Now they have backed off from that. The POV boards are indeed rather uninspiring but my suggestion is that that need not be the case.

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  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Fedster (U14967576) on Tuesday, 10th December 2013

    Permtong your opening gambitt is quite clearly as a result of BBC Departments not communicating with each other, it would be intresting to know if the PoV team, disregard views from members who have been banned or about to be banned, i would hazard a guess that such information is only avaliable to CCT, hence you being ignored by one section of the BBC, but the other are welcoming you with open arms, so to speak.

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  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Fedster (U14967576) on Tuesday, 10th December 2013

    Just to add, this board is quite clearly not fit for purpose, the BBC board is hardly used, and the BBC TV board has bits that are duplicated, from other sections of the BBC Website.

    This board was fit for purpose a few years back, but that all changed......

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  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Tuesday, 10th December 2013

    Just to add, this board is quite clearly not fit for purpose, the BBC board is hardly used, and the BBC TV board has bits that are duplicated, from other sections of the BBC Website.

    This board was fit for purpose a few years back, but that all changed...... 


    When did it change ?
    And why ?

    And how much of it was a result if the Graf report ?
    news.bbc.co.uk/nol/s...

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  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Bananas are Santas favourite fruit (U15941072) on Tuesday, 10th December 2013

    The major change (from this board's perspective) took place in 2009. It is discussed a lot on this thread:

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    The impression given at the time was that while some of it was implemented under Graf, Some of the things that were done were a retrograde step, and seemingly directly contrary to the wishes and expectations of the Trust whose then chairman had higher hopes for the messageboards as a means of encouraging dialogue between the BBC and viewers. I cannot look for everything on the subject, and it is quite a long thread, but there is a lot there.

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  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Thursday, 12th December 2013

    Permtong your opening gambitt is quite clearly as a result of BBC Departments not communicating with each other, it would be intresting to know if the PoV team, disregard views from members who have been banned or about to be banned, i would hazard a guess that such information is only avaliable to CCT, hence you being ignored by one section of the BBC, but the other are welcoming you with open arms, so to speak.  I imagine it is just a vagary of the system. The problem arises when there is no link within management to ensure that stuff doesn't just go into blind alleys (half deliberate, half accidental).

    What is perhaps pertinent is that my requests for assistance over a technical fault which had persisted for about a year could not elicit a single satisfactory response from the BBC and eventually they just accused me of disrupting the boards without giving any reason. I suggested that they should at least give a reason but no response to that or anything else. I fear that this typifies an organisation that is not accountable to its 'customers'. It is more like a medieval court. To be candid I find their cavalier attitude offensive. There are plenty of good people at the BBC but the ethos of the organisation and some laziness creates the perception of an attitude problem.

    Of course everything used to be like this in the days when most things were nationalised. I remember it well!

    One has to envisage a scenario such as the last Imperial Court of China but thanks to a sudden switch in technology everyone outside the wall is allowed to complain about it - and does so.

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  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Thursday, 12th December 2013

    Just to add, this board is quite clearly not fit for purpose, the BBC board is hardly used, and the BBC TV board has bits that are duplicated, from other sections of the BBC Website.

    This board was fit for purpose a few years back, but that all changed...... 


    When did it change ?
    And why ?

    And how much of it was a result if the Graf report ?
    news.bbc.co.uk/nol/s... 


    Apropos BBC boards in general, I seem to recall that Graf was actually quite supportive of messageboards. It was about ten years ago and there were a lot of them.

    The BBC had embraced messageboards lock, stock and barrel. I don't think he gave any indication that the BBC should stop that - because they educated, entertained and informed in a significant way.

    We need look no further than the government to find out why it was all closed down - they were a threat to the Blair clique and its illegal war.

    The 'boards' had come to excoriate Blair et al in the run up to the Iraq War and as it happened the posting hours allowed people from around the world to join in. So you had a million marching in London; and a few million messages to go with it.

    It was actually a major step forward in handing a voice to ordinary people of the type that young people in China are prepared to die for..........

    .........the propaganda arm of the British government being used to castigate the British government over its illegal war and the thousands killed in our name. I don't think so. Well you know what the government thought of the BBC!

    It was a case of "mine eyes hath seen the glory of the coming of the Lord"........
    ........and then He didn't come.

    The problem coming back to this 'board' is that a vast community of users were gradually stagemanaged out of existence with a farrago of feeble reasons to go with it.

    It is a lack lustre operation as a consequence and actually a bit bizarre. 22 million homes with a TV, How many threads? How many responses?

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  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by Bananas are Santas favourite fruit (U15941072) on Thursday, 12th December 2013

    No, the whole tone, and the Board of Governors as it then was, agreed was against. The result was that a whole slew of messageboards went because they weren't distinctive enough, they weren't supplying somehting that couldn't be supplied elsewhere and, in some cases, might have an adverse commercial impact. Of course, what actually happened was that instead of using BBC boards, a lot of them went away and created their own boards providing the same services. My feeling is that Graf, in some way accounts for the migration to Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Thursday, 12th December 2013

    No, the whole tone, and the Board of Governors as it then was, agreed was against. The result was that a whole slew of messageboards went because they weren't distinctive enough, they weren't supplying somehting that couldn't be supplied elsewhere and, in some cases, might have an adverse commercial impact. Of course, what actually happened was that instead of using BBC boards, a lot of them went away and created their own boards providing the same services. My feeling is that Graf, in some way accounts for the migration to Facebook and Twitter.  I don't agree with much of that.

    They were very distinctive, and as to commercial impact (?) - not sure how that works. Other TV stations being damaged by BBCs bottomless pit of money, perhaps; but messageboards, I don't think so.

    I think the BBC had an edge over most of the rest in that it was a trusted organisation with global reach. Obviously the arguments can go on about whether the BBC should have bothered but the fact is it turned its back on a rather new piece of communications technology which it saw as some sort of Pandora's Box. First they struck out any messageboard on which a controversial topic could be discussed and tried to shove discussions into 'The Bull on The Archers' - an absurd place to try and discuss anything serious, by design. Then they tried to railroad users into blogs where they could exercise complete editorial control; then they closed it all. Sticky fingers of government (the Governors) as you say are all over it.

    Funny if in the 1920s the BBC, freshly nationalised had looked at the new fangled television the same way, and refused to have anything to do with it.

    Did I suggest that the British Broadecasting Company was nationalised (on the pretext that the privateers could interfere with military communications?). Nationalised......Oh dear.......thats let the cat out of the bag.

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  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Bananas are Santas favourite fruit (U15941072) on Thursday, 12th December 2013

    Sorry, but you are missing the point. The messageboards were not distinctive enough. There were already other messageboards around doing the same thing, so they got chopped. The remit of BBC Online was narrowed, so they got chopped. THe Online Budget of BBC online was slashed, so they got chopped.

    It was absolutely nothing to do with the suppression of dissent, or of controversy. That is simply a conspiracy theory too far.

    Oh, I doubt very much that the BBC would have run away from it, because they were at the forefront of it's development; and they still are with a lot of things. And your comments about the so-called nationalisation of the BBC simply do not jibe with the actual history of the creation of the Corporation.

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  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Permtong (U15934379) on Tuesday, 17th December 2013

    Sorry, but you are missing the point. The messageboards were not distinctive enough. There were already other messageboards around doing the same thing, so they got chopped. The remit of BBC Online was narrowed, so they got chopped. THe Online Budget of BBC online was slashed, so they got chopped.

    It was absolutely nothing to do with the suppression of dissent, or of controversy. That is simply a conspiracy theory too far.

    Oh, I doubt very much that the BBC would have run away from it, because they were at the forefront of it's development; and they still are with a lot of things. And your comments about the so-called nationalisation of the BBC simply do not jibe with the actual history of the creation of the Corporation. 
    I beg to differ. They were rather distinctive in that they were hosted by the BBC. Britain was engaged in an illegal war, and the BBC was permitting the British government to be criticised by people from all over the world. There was no other comparable situation.

    Most people now see the Blair clique as on the paranoid side with Mandleson as the master of spin. The idea that they never said anything to anyone about it doesn't stack up. Compare with the furore over the chance remark (which was true) made by Andrew Gilligan on the Today programme which gave the government a chance to kick the BBC around thereby deflect attention from its own inadequacies. Then the hatchet job by Hutton who was supposed to look into the death of David Kelly.

    Quite a lot of unfinished business in my view.

    BTW the origins of the BBC are readily researched on the internet. I think nationalised in 1926 on the say so of an Earl....and completely independent of government ever since!

    Did you use the BBC forums from their inception?

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