Aug 03 2013

In order to use the licence fee efficiently

The BBC sent a boilerplate response to all the complaints about the block bot and the BBC’s vile attack on the character of people the BBC never mentioned.

The report on Newsnight on 30 July which featured The Block Bot was part of an ongoing news story on the use of Twitter and its consequences, which has generated a great deal of debate across all forms of media. We received a number of contacts about this broadcast and in order to reply promptly and to use the licence fee efficiently we are sending a single response to everyone. However we would like to reassure you that your concerns about the programme were brought to the attention of Newsnight and senior BBC management.

At no stage in the Newsnight report was any individual named as being on The Block Bot’s list. The report also did not mention how the list of names might be obtained. As you are probably aware, the list of names on The Block Bot is updat…ed constantly and numbers many hundreds.

Although the script explained that The Block Bot was self-policing, and the report clearly showed on screen that The Block Bot has different levels of blocking, the report could have explained those details more clearly.

In a subsequent report on Newsnight on 31 July 31 the programme reported the ongoing debate on the use of tools like The Block Bot, including the fact that some of those who are blocked by it object to their blocking. Again, no names were mentioned.

I hope this address your concerns. Thank you for taking the time to raise them with us.”

Now kindly fuck off.


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  1. 1

    What astonishes me is how easily a bunch of people who pride themselves on rational thought and logical analysis bought into the idea that any sort of defamation had occurred here at all. Talk about Streisand effect.

  2. 2
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Heh. Most of the time I find boilerplate responses to things irritating, but when it’s what a bunch of miserable, pompous, entitled, harassing shit-heads on the receiving end they’re really quite amusing.

  3. 3

    I wonder whether the Beeb’s legal department nay have had that classic Private Eye response in front of them as a touch of light relief while drafting the boilerplate? There seem to be a few traces of sardonic inspiration poking through.

  4. 4
    Al Dente

    I also thought of Arkell v. Pressdram when I read the Beeb’s response.

  5. 5
    Pieter B, FCD

    I have finally managed to commit the phrase “Arkell v. Pressdram” fairly securely to memory, and have it bookmarked somewhere. It’s often appropriate to bring it into a discussion of fuckwittery.

  6. 6

    BTW Ophelia, was this a press release or was it sent to somebody who sent it to you? i.e. is there a link to it somewhere else?

  7. 7
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Do I detect a hint of sarcasm in the reply?

  8. 8

    W00t! That was corporate speak for f-off alright… I wonder how the puffed up egos are taking it? Victory! We forced a response from them!

  9. 9

    @ 1 tigtog

    What astonishes me is how easily a bunch of people who pride themselves on rational thought and logical analysis bought into the idea that any sort of defamation had occurred here at all.

    It’s like they’re trying to silence people for simply disagreeing. Don’t these people have any respect for free speech?!

  10. 10

    Ha. I can’t wait to not see the inevitable 4,000 tweets from Sarah Mayhew about it.

    (Not because be I use Block Bot, but because I pretty much only use Twitter to follow comedians. I mean *professional* comedians, not random dipshits that think photoshopping people is funny.)

  11. 11

    Does this mean the lawsuit’s cancelled? :(

  12. 12
    Ophelia Benson

    Ha. Like the law suit was ever really going to happen.

  13. 13

    That’s a shame. I was looking forward to the legal event of the century.

  14. 14

    I was watching something last night about Not the Nine O’Clock News. One of the performers had to be chucked out. No-one wanted to do the chucking so they got some Beeb executive to word the farewell so that the sacked guy wasn’t sure he had really been sacked. But they got rid of him without unpleasant scenes.

    How Beeb. Getting rid of people without unpleasant scenes. Very annoying if it happens to you, very entertaining if it happens to your private black list.

  15. 15
    Ophelia Benson

    Haha that’s like that movie, I always forget the title, about working in a hellish tech company – one running joke was their efforts to fire one guy without unpleasant scenes. “If you could just pack up all your stuff and take it to the basement, that would be greeeeeeeeeat.”

  16. 16
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Ophelia Benson

    “The IT Crowd”?

  17. 17
    Ophelia Benson


  18. 18
    Ophelia Benson

    “Office Space.”

  19. 19

    Office Space?

  20. 20
    Ophelia Benson

    Stacy – yup!

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