A Conversation for The Small but Vocal Minority

Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 41

Martin Harper

You seem to be dodging my questions, Blues Shark. You said that "Recent years have seen a consistent 'pulling in of horns' at the BBC". Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I asked you whether you think that the BBC are unresponsive to user concerns - what's your opinion? If they are unresponsive, is this a good thing or a bad thing? I asked if "you honestly believe the BBC should allow its links policy to be dictated by people like Richard "Dirty" Desmond or Rupert Murdoch?" - you never answered.

Instead, you dodge the questions by talking about what *is*, when I'm asking about what *should* be. This whole discussion is about what *should* be - I think, and Subcomm thinks, that the BBC *should* be less responsive to third parties and it *should* be more responsive to users. What do you think?

-Xanthia (growing impatient)


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 42

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

Whether the BBC should or should not be more responsive to users and less to third parties is a moot point until you've decided who are *users* and who are *third parties*.
I'm wondering what makes you think that Desmond or Murdoch don't pay a licence fee, if appropriate, thus rendering them users. (In any event, even if Murdoch doesn't, as he is not resident in this country, I'll bet the editor of the Currant Bun, whoever that worthy is, does.)Certainly the VAST majority of readers of the Sun and the Mail, who read those papers, and have shown overwhelming support over the years for various schemes and attempts to make the BBC more responsive to *their* needs and concerns, *are* legitimate users.
Or is their position as legitimate users of the BBC somehow negated because their views do not equate with yours?
smiley - shark

(Though I'd love to know just why your last posting was referred...)


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 43

Martin Harper

I'm talking about users of particular services. I'm a user of h2g2. I was a user of 'Cutting It'. I'm not a user of the BBC search, and I'm not a user of 'The Archers'.

You still haven't answered my questions....


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 44

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

By paying a licence fee you are user of the BBC. It's as simple as that.
The licence fee that a reader of the Sun or the Mail pays doesn't come labelled 'This entitles you to use the following services...'. And the BBC *certainly* doesn't consult them when allocating funds from those licence fees.
I therefore think it *entirely* reasonable that any licence payer is entitled to ask for *ANY* BBC service to be accountable to him/her.

So I suppose, while i regard your question as being essentially based on a false premise-ie that a licence paying non-user of H2G2 is an *outsider* in the process-that I would have to say I fully expect the BBC to take account of the views of *all* their licence payers. I don't regard those memebers of the public who pay licence fees to be outside of the process, and I think it sensible that the BBC take steps to avoid upsetting licence payers when possible. It's a deal with the devil, isn't it?
smiley - shark


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 45

Martin Harper

One more time, and feel free to tell me if you've answered some of these and I've just not seen where...

1) You said that "Recent years have seen a consistent 'pulling in of horns' at the BBC". Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

status: unanswered

2) Do you think that the BBC are unresponsive to user concerns?

status: "I fully expect the BBC to take account of the views of *all* their licence payers." versus "You have evidence [that they are responsive]? I don't" and "the BBC *certainly* doesn't consult [license fee payers] when allocating funds from those licence fees." Which just leaves me confused.

3) If they are unresponsive, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

status: unanswered

4) Do you believe the BBC should allow its links policy to be dictated by people like Richard "Dirty" Desmond or Rupert Murdoch?

status: unanswered

-X

smiley - popcorn

What you meant to say (?) was that by paying a licence fee I should have some say in how that money is spent, in the same way as 'no taxation without representation'. And I agree with this (!)

However, I think that this say should be primarilly about *where* the money is spent, not *how* it is spent. So I think a license fee payer who doesn't listen to the Archers would be entitled to complain that their money is being wasted on a program about the countryside, but would be in a weaker position if they complained about the lack of cows. For starters, if they don't listen to the Archers, then they're not in a position to have an informed opinion on the subject.

Hence, when deciding how to moderate h2g2, they should listen primarilly to users (and potential users) of h2g2, who will actually be effected by any decisions it takes. If a non-h2g2 user, license fee payer, were to complain about money from a *TV* license being spent on online services, then I'd be ok with that. They might suggest saving money by not moderating everything in sight, for example... smiley - winkeye

Incidentally, I think that the Mail (etc) doesn't accurately represent the views of people who buy it. Partly because such papers report stories inaccurately in order to keep their reputation amongst subscribers (if it has previously said that X is bad, then it will report events so as to confirm that impression). Partly because people buy it for the controversy or to reassure themselves that they're normal. As a result, I don't think it's sensible for the BBC to take a complaint from some newspaper as being somehow representative of every reader of that paper.
-M


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 46

Martin Harper

"What you meant to say"

sorry - that was a relic of some other stuff that I decided to delete on reflection - no negativity intended.


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 47

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

Ok, one by one;
>"Recent years have seen a consistent 'pulling in of horns' at the BBC". Is this a good thing or a bad thing?< I personally consider it reprehensible, but I also recognize that the BBC has a wider concern than simply taking into account my views. If soap operas are too violent and sex obsessed, then I think I'd qualify as a *VERY* sick bunny by the BBC's standards, and they'd be right to ignore me in the face of that particular report.

>Do you think that the BBC are unresponsive to user concerns?<
I think it depends which users you mean. It's certainly unresponsive to *my* concerns, but as I've said above, that might just be a good thing smiley - winkeye. I bet it isn't unresponsive to the hundred + people whole phoned to complain about Spooks today, though.

>If they are unresponsive, is this a good thing or a bad thing?<
As I say, I don't necessarily consider them unresponsive to user concerns.

>Do you believe the BBC should allow its links policy to be dictated by people like Richard "Dirty" Desmond or Rupert Murdoch?<
Absolutely not, but that doesn't mean I don't expect the BBC to at least guard against attacks from the popular press. What I want and what I get are two different things in life.

The next obvious question is whether or not I think the BBC have been good or bad for H2G2 in the light of changes to editorial policy as highlighted by this thread, and should thety be more responsive to user concerns? Like I say it's a deal with the devil. Actually, compared to the rate of change at the BBC when my mother worked for it some twenty five years ago, the pace of change at H2G2 (post-Rupert) has been Tsunami like. Seriously. I think it's unreasonable to expect them to simply open the flood gates and stand back-they want a carefully controlled experiment.
I've been on both ends of the moderation issue-on each occasion, my views were listened to and a fair decision reached. There are some who might (or indeed undoubtedly would) disagree about that, but for me, moderation isn't really an issue. It's plain that the BBC aren't about to move to entirely re-active moderation, and I'm not sure they should.
smiley - shark



Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 48

Martin Harper

Thank you for the answers smiley - biggrin

I feel that the responsiveness to users should be roughly proportional to the number of users who feel some way. So if the majority of h2g2 users want h2g2 to be less proactive in moderation, they should respond to that.

If the majority of h2g2 users want h2g2 to be more proactive in moderation, then they should respond to that too. But that won't stop me expressing and arguing for my own views, and I don't think it should. Nor do I think it's useless: if I can persuade other users and the BBC, then change will happen. Hence the petition. Hence me being on this thread.

And I do feel you're being rather defeatist, I'm afraid. If you feel that the BBC shouldn't be so slavish to the media barons, you should say so! I shouldn't have to drag it out of you by re-asking the same question four times! smiley - winkeye Your life, though, so I shouldn't criticise...

> "I bet it isn't unresponsive to the hundred + people whole phoned to complain about Spooks today, though."

Ditto. I would hope, though, that it would be more responsive to the ones that had actually watched it (or at least started to watch it). And that it would be equally responsive to the people who phoned and said how great it was.

> "whether or not I think the BBC have been good or bad for H2G2"

Actually, it wouldn't even occur to me to ask that one: without the BBC, no h2g2 - that's historical fact, and another place where I think we agree.


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 49

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Hi everyone! smiley - smiley

Ok, maybe not the wisest of acts to post this and then be off-line for about a week. smiley - erm

Re Blues Shark #11:
"Why is a perfectly reasonable need for a major ,publicly funded broadcasting agency to ensure that they are not displaying offensive material 'pathological'?"

Yeah, it is reasonable to ensure that. I just wonder why they suddenly start now. I have repeatedly posted links to German-only sites in posts and entries. Non of them ever disappeared. My links page (A519716) features some more. Some since I put that page up in March 2001.
The entry about the Vis Moot we are talking about (edited version A588170), was run past the Eds a number of times (see F647?thread=118369). That's why the decision to take the entry off the air seemed/-s like a change in editorial policy.

"Tuibe-as to the page disappearing because of a link, yeah, that sucks. Have you tried asking for the page to put back with only the link taken out? That would seem to be the obvious first step here."

Yes, Linda offered that. smiley - smiley


Re Linda #14:
"As I can’t read Dutch, I failed the link. Now that I’ve been assured that the link is to the official website of a Dutch city, I could let it pass. However – this would then make me ‘inconsistent’. As I could pass this, then fail the next one that I see as it’s to a ‘pub, to a club, to an association’."

The the text that contains the link is:
"Willem Cornelis Vis (1924-1993) was born in Utrecht, Netherlands."
From the context it seems reasonable to conclude that it's a link to a Dutch city. However, I can understand that the BBC can't operate on 'reasonable' in that respect as was pointed out by Blues smiley - shark above.
What I don't see is a rule that says that links to non-English sites are considered a breach of the house rules. It was never done to me before, nor have I heard about such an occurance before, nor is it mentioned in the house rules. The entry was modded a number of times for broken links and it was officially edited. I bugged the Eds repeatedly about it. Noone ever complained about the Dutch link.

What would you be inconsistent with? Which rule? As I know of no rule there seem to be two possibilities:

a) The rule might read: "a link to a foreign tongue page is a no-no."
or
b) The rule might read: "a link to a foreign tongue page other than official (as in "operated by the state") are a no-no."

If the rule is a) the BBC is inconsistent when they let my link pass. If the rule is b) is inconsistent when they don't let it pass. smiley - shrug
What's the rule, then? And is it a new one?
I don't want my entries to disappear. I don't need these discussions, but what are the rules?


"Would you, as a Researcher, prefer me to stick 100% to the rules, all of the time, or to be inconsistent? Think very carefully before you answer."

<smiley - laughsmiley - winkeye> After seven years of studying law I prefer to not answer that one. </smiley - laughsmiley - winkeye>
We all know that you do and need to make up the rules as you go along. There can't be 100% consistency as there are always new situations. smiley - hug


"Can I just say out that if putting the non-English languages back on site starts causing a lot of problems, I’m not going to be able to carry on."

I'm not quite sure why the Vis Moot entry would be in the pile of non-English material.
I am not at all against non-English stuff at h2g2. That's why I signed up for the TransVol scheme ages ago.


Re Lucinda #16:


Re Blues smiley - shark vs Lucinda ## 21-23
"Besides, as this clearly arose from a *legacy* piece ..."

No, not a legacy piece, I wrote it post-Rupert, but you couldn't know that.


Re ## 24-36: I won't get involved in that old discussion yet again... smiley - winkeye






smiley - popcorn




So to bring this posting back to where I wanted to go when I started this thread:

Is there a (new?) house rule for foreign tongue links?
What does it say (roughly)?

Tube
hoping that Linda's still subscribed


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 50

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

I don't consider myself defeatist, merely a realist.
I work for the civil service. I know exactly how long and how hard you ave to fight to get an organization the size of the BBC to move one degree from it's established position.
I choose to use my energy for other battles, that's all.smiley - winkeye
smiley - shark


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 51

Martin Harper

Like fighting me! That's productive... smiley - tongueout


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 52

Mina

I am still subscribed yes. smiley - smiley

I'll answer this when I'm back in the office though, so bear with me. smiley - ok


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 53

Mina

I am still subscribed yes. smiley - smiley

I'll answer this when I'm back in the office though, so bear with me. smiley - ok


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 54

Mina

I posted that 3 times to make sure you got the idea. smiley - smiley


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 55

Tube - the being being back for the time being

smiley - huh What?


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 56

Mina

Never mind! I'll be back tomorrow. smiley - ok

Night night. smiley - sleepy


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 57

Tube - the being being back for the time being

smiley - laugh
smiley - cool We have something in common, then. smiley - smiley


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 58

Deidzoeb

>Do you believe the BBC should allow its links policy to be dictated by people like Richard "Dirty" Desmond or Rupert Murdoch?<
"Absolutely not, but that doesn't mean I don't expect the BBC to at least guard against attacks from the popular press."

What about when those attacks from the popular press are totally unfounded? Do most Brits actually believe the accusations of the popular press?

If the BBC wanted to fully "guard against attacks from the popular press," they'd close h2g2 to prevent *any* offensive material being posted, and maybe they'd stop broadcasting tv news due to past accusations of bias or whatever. Most people familiar with the dynamics of BBC and their detractors recognize that my suggestions would be an absurd reaction. But when it comes to h2g2, there seems to be no reaction too absurd in the name of "guarding against attacks from the popular press."

I just feel that if people knew as much about the internet as they do about the normal dynamics of BBC tv shows (about which I'm sure many conservative groups complain every day) or BBC radio shows (same), then they would see that h2g2 is being treated with total disregard of how people will use it. "Guarding against attacks from the popular press" should not mean destroying or nullifying your broadcast. Otherwise, what's the point?

I can't change your mind if you can't see past the dollar-signs in your eyes. [Or £-signs or €-signs or whatever you people pay your license fees with. Mike Meyers hasn't instructed me on which currency y'all use these days, d**n him.] The license fees obviously weigh heavily on your mind, so nothing I say should make a difference to you or the BBC. Whether or not they make more sense than the Sun or the Mail or Newsday.

"It's plain that the BBC aren't about to move to entirely re-active moderation, and I'm not sure they should."

It was the policy that the top members of the current h2g2 staff used for at least a year before the BBC took over. I have no doubt they would return to it if allowed. I'm sure they should.


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 59

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

To put this in perspective;

It's only a smiley - bleeping website. If I want to challenge the abuse of power and authority, I'll choose a forum that really makes a difference, OK?
I'd also guess that my knowledge of the popular press and how it works in the UK is better than someone who regards Mike Myers as an authority on British TV broadcasting, Subcom. smiley - winkeyeAnd whether or not a licence fee is better than entrusting all network tv to advertiwsing so that consumer pressure groups can take programmes like 'My So Called Life' off the air is a discussion for another forum.
>It was the policy that the top members of the current h2g2 staff used for at least a year before the BBC took over.< Operative word in that sentence-BEFORE.

Hi Tube.smiley - ok
smiley - shark Off to tilt at bigger and better windmills.


Whoa! This link is not English, let's take the entry off the air...

Post 60

Mina

When links to sites that only contain non-English languages have been passed, it's been done at the discretion of a member of the Community Team.

As there seems to be some confusion about the House Rules, they have now been clarified. The rule now reads as follows:

"Only include suitable URLs in your contributions. Links to websites we consider unsuitable will be removed, so if you are considering contributing something that contains a URL, please make sure that it adds value and interest to the subject of your entry, and isn't, for example, purely commercial. Unsuitable sites would include those with racist material, pornographic or sexually explicit material, potentially defamatory material, anything which encourages illegal activities, material which infringes copyright, sites which purely plug or promote commercial products or services without containing material which enhances the subject matter, sites which are in languages other than English, or sites which may offend our users."

I hope that clears things up for everybody. smiley - ok


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