Thursday, June 25, 2020

How do you tell ?

Hats off to Mr A Willmore, who worries about the BBC. He's asked a very pertinent question via FOI which I reproduce, and perhaps Mr Richard Sambrook might like to think about it...

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

I have explored these muddy waters before, without success, and I would appreciate your guidance and assistance so that I can obtain some useful and meaningful information without falling foul of the "journalism, art and literature" derogation. I am aware of FOI Act Section 16 and I would be grateful if you would apply that to this request as appropriate and if necessary.

After several communications with the BBC Complaints Department it appears to me that BBC staff can either have a "BBC" Twitter account or a "personal" Twitter account, with the latter being outside of their jurisdiction. To me, as a viewer and licence fee payer, it is *extremely* difficult to deduce which is "BBC" and which is "personal". For example, a leading player in BBC News has a Twitter handle of "firstname_lastname" and a description of " Editor @BBCNewsnight" but that is not, apparently, a "BBC" account. Another leading BBC News player has a Twitter handle of "@BBCFirstnameInitial" and has a description of "Watch , Follow @BBCNews, @BBCPolitics, Share stories at #CoronavirusNewscast, Subscribe " but that evidently is a "BBC" account. So how do I tell the difference?

Is it as simple as "BBC" accounts start with "@BBC"? If so, confirmation of that would be extremely helpful. If it is more subtle than that then your guidance would be gratefully received.

As it is, I am wasting my own time and that of BBC Complaints simply because I cannot work out which Twitter accounts are "personal" and which are "BBC". I hope the information you provide will prevent that happening again.

Yours faithfully,

Mr A Willmore

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