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R4 'home page' | BBC web site

(6 Posts)
NetworkGuy Tue 08-Apr-14 11:31:35

Am I just a grumpy old(er) man, because I object to seeing Twitter and Facebook splashed on the R4 home page, complete with their respective logos?

The BBC Trust has various guidelines about the BBC not showing company logos, and has some editorial guidelines about linking to third party web sites (but mostly in relation to links from a programme, not about linking from the 'station' home page).

Lot's of good reasons for maintaining integrity and independence, but since presenters started to talk about "Googling for XYZ" (instead of "searching"), and talk about the iPod (as if everyone has one, not giving the generic "MP3 player" description), it seems as if Twitter and Facebook have been included in place of e-mail and telephone contact.

Editorial Integrity Online says

^"The links we make must be editorially justified and should lead to sites which are:

o clearly relevant to the content of the BBC page where the link is placed
o suitable for the likely audience"^

I know the R4 audience is of many ages and backgrounds, but cannot for the life of me believe that the majority are users of either (or both) Twitter or Facebook.

Any thoughts, or am I just unwilling to "get with it" as I turn my back on Faceboook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Dropbox, Myspace, etc, etc, etc... ?

yegodsandlittlefishes Tue 08-Apr-14 11:34:36

Can't you just ignore the limks?

yegodsandlittlefishes Tue 08-Apr-14 12:20:23

Twitter and facebook etc don't pay for the links to be on the R4 home page, do they?

NetworkGuy Tue 08-Apr-14 12:46:36

No, I very much doubt any money passes hands, but it is free promotion of services and (as indicated earlier) is being used as the only form of contact now, for some programmes (and of course, I had no way to complain that I was unable to contact the show).

Some people really "hate" the fact that they as users are treated as a commodity (in terms of profiles of advertising targets) by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter, yet the BBC is effectively promoting the latter two by inclusion as a means of contact.

I've no idea how "intrusive" or in depth the website signup forms are for them, but it's almost hypocritical when the BBC is giving warnings about the data collection by some sites while effectively giving carte blanche to a couple of "popular" social media sites at the same time. I know that simple inclusion on the BBC website cannot be seen as endorsing it (in a news context where external links are shown, for example) but if it's being used for contact and no phone number or e-mail address is available, is that not a way of 'endorsing' in a somewhat hidden way?

My guess is that the use of Twitter and Facebook has drifted in, from web-savvy individuals at the BBC starting to use them privately at first, and then getting the "OK" for them to be used by the production teams, so any individual concerns have probably been swept aside and the general trend is assumed that these are "just fine", and the fact these are large corporations getting completely free publicity has been overlooked.

yegodsandlittlefishes Tue 08-Apr-14 13:08:30

Is there really no way to contact them? Even when you go to specific programme pages?

Who would you want to be emailing?

NetworkGuy Tue 08-Apr-14 15:06:00

Actually, they have now added an e-mail link - it was "The Digital Human",and in at least one earlier series, either series 3 or 4 - I rarely hear any trailers in advance of a broadcast - they had no way other than Twitter. I most likely sent my complaint to Feedback, which presumably passed it on.

Glad they have fixed it, but of course, at the time, it was a pain not to be able to give them feedback on the day (or even in the week) of that broadcast. I certainly wasn't going to sign up on some web site to be allowed to contact a BBC programme about something.

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