Big Brother B.B.C.

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I’m beginning to think the first two initals of BBC stand for Big Brother.

Today I wanted to catch up on an episode of “The Archers” that I’d missed. Previously you could simply click on the schedule for a  programme and listen again. Not any more. You now have to be registered and and each time you want to use the catch up facility you have to sign in with an email address and password.

How long I wonder before this extra piece of unnecessary bureaucracy is spread to all BBC radio and TV services? I bet it won’t be long before we will sign in with username and password to watch BBC News or Eastenders. We’ll probably have to identify ourselves just to check the weather forecast or the traffic reports on local radio.

What will happen to people who don’t use a computer? (There are such folk, though they are rapidly dwindling minority!)

The BBC seems to be following in the wake of Google – they say they are going to “personalise” my “account”. In other words they will look at my record of listening and viewing (incidentally as I don’t have television my viewing figures should be zero – but I bet it won’t be!) They will then decide what I am interested in and push these programmes at me. No thank you, Big Brother, I prefer to make my own choices.

I’ve has enough of clever computer algorithms deciding what I want to see – Facebook gets some very odd ideas about what sort of articles are suitable for an elderly pensioner.

When I was asked for personal data for my account, date of birth, gender etc., I admit I was very tempted to put in false info just to be awkward. What would the computer make of an obviously fictitious date of birth? January 1st 1066 for example? Probably just send me a patronising “Oops, you’ve got it wrong again!”

ESME

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