The BBC’s new complaints site launches. Roll up, roll up.

Today the BBC launched its updated /complaints web page (mmm, mint Vienetta), as promised in the last Governors report/post Hutton. There’s a couple of reasons for this: One, it’s a good thing to do. The feedback log often contained sentences like “Arrrrrg!..I’m going round in circles..”. This could be attributed to a number of factors; bad navigation is perhaps one, but also when the red mist descends, people aren’t very good at following instructions and filling in forms and using drop downs; they just wanna to rant God damn it!!

…and two, Jerry Springer – The Opera got something like 45,000+ complaints, only a small fraction of which were after the show TX’d, by people who’d presumably watched the show then complained. The vast majority were sent before transmission. This event more than any other marked a fundamental shift in the nature of complaining, away from the “why oh why” letter to Points of View; to bulk protests, international mailing lists and special interest group demonstrations using the power of the internet.

And it’s not just the BBC that’s going to have to face this paradigm shift, it’s all broadcasters. Indeed, it’s anyone who makes public comments from blogs to newspapers to art galleries. It seems we live in an age when technology amplifies our strength of our voices but not always the quality of what we say.


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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
February 2005
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