Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,
I am interested in BBC corporate, programme and individual staff twitter accounts.
How these are defined is not altogether clear to me, but the first two should be unambiguous.
For the latter I presume prominent use of BBC title and programme relationship in header word or image branding, and consequent BBC topic dissemination, calls for BBC-relevant material as posts, or RT'ing as a claimed member of BBC staff, would qualify.
1) How many of these 'official' twitter pages are there?
2) How many are corporate and how many relate to an individual?
3) Of the latter, how many carry some form of disclaimer, usually approximating to 'views are my own'?
4) How many do not? What is the reason for inclusion or not?
5) For either how many have had posts withdrawn through controversy by the staff member? Have there been multiples by some staff? Please quantify.
6) How many have had entire profiles closed by the staff member? Have there been multiples by some staff? Please quantify.
7) How many have seen senior management require the staff member to withdraw posts? Have there been multiples by some staff? Please quantify.
8) How many have seen senior management require the staff member to close twitter accounts? Have there been multiples by some staff? Please quantify.
9) In the case of 7) and 8), what were the reasons?
10) In the case of 7) or 8), how many have been reporters, talent or senior staff, such as editors, producers. Or top-tier management?
11) How many of those used by reporters, talent or senior staff, such as editors, producers, or top-tier management, have blocked members of the public for reasons other than personal abuse?
12) For 11) What are the % blocking rates for these?
13) For 11), what were the reasons?
14) Are there BBC Guidelines in place to assist with assessing and logging these reasons for blocking? One presumes so, as BBC staff creating highly selective follower bases for any non-legitimate reason could be seen as unwarranted censorship and exclusion. What are these guidelines?
15) In case there is no information available, or it is deemed excluded, please ensure the explanation for the BBC operating an unaccountable information broadcast arm via poorly defined and/or overseen staff personal accounts does not invoke the 'purposes of journalism' exclusion, as that would be trying to have a cake and eat it.
These are either personal or corporate. They cannot be BBC-branded and be the former.
If corporate, 'views my own' cannot apply, or refusals to be held to account, as there appears to be no avenue for even BBC internal accountability to be invoked by the public in case of abuses of accuracy, professional conduct or impartiality. As twitter is a major platform in the BBC broadcast armoury, this would be an unfortunate loophole to see persist.
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 25th March 2015. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.
The reference number for your request is RFI20150481
The Information Policy & Compliance Team
BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
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Email: [BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2882
Dear Mr Martin,
Please find attached the response to your request for information,
BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room BC2 A4
Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Description: Description: \\BBCFS2025\UserData$\myrien01\Documents\My
2. mailto:[BBC request email]
Dear FOI Enquiries,
I have written to the ICO following refusal of this request.
I write because I would appear to have no other option, given this key paragraph:
"The BBC does not offer an internal review when the information requested is not covered by the
Act. If you disagree with our decision you can appeal to the Information Commissioner."
Given what has been advised here:
"the information you have requested about BBC corporate, programme and individual staff Twitter accounts is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and wil not be doing so on this occasion."
What I am trying to discover is self-explanatory from the questions.
I dispute this information is in any way covered by the attempted exclusions.
I have serious concerns what is done in the name of the BBC, on BBC-branded twitter accounts, by BBC staff, and what oversight systems and sanctions exist.
There is clearly a problem of epic historical and ongoing nature, that the BBC clearly cannot and will not face up to.
Just recently - http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/bbc-jo...
Faith in the BBC's ability to address such things eroded by the 4 year time span above and, from the latter:
"The BBC appeared to get into a tangle as it contradicted her explanations and strongly denied that any tweets had been sent saying the Queen had died.
In a statement a spokesperson said: “During a technical rehearsal for an obituary, tweets were mistakenly sent from the account of a BBC journalist saying that a member of the royal family had been taken ill. “The tweets were swiftly deleted and we apologise for any offence.” A spokeswoman insisted there was no evidence that a tweet had been sent which said the Queen had died. “I do not think any tweet was sent from this account that said the Queen had died,” she said.However, a screen grab appearing to show the tweet was published by the NBC News website. The corporation refused to give any details of how the error happened or whether Ms Khawaja was in the same building as the dress rehearsal."
The 'spokespeople' were from the BBC Press Office, originators of a tweet that inspired this story:
"The corporation's press office retweeted - and then quickly deleted - a message slamming Mr Whittingdale's voting record on gay rights, the hunting ban and a host of other unrelated issues to his new brief as Culture Secretary.
A BBC spokesman yesterday morning insisted the corporation was 'looking forward to working with the new Secretary of State'.
He also insisted that the re-tweet of the critical message had been a mistake which did not reflect the BBC's view.
The spokesman said: 'The tweet referred to was tweeted at the BBC and not produced by us but it was inadvertently retweeted – that was never the intention and it was immediately deleted.' "
Please therefore forgive me if I consider BBC internal oversight in such matters to be in any way reliable.