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Read this: 18/11/2022 Radio 4 Feedback

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18/11/2022 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello in a terror attack is an horrific experience but then being told that you've been lying about what happened all along we got told after the attack that apparently was actors who were the people telling you you act it series BBC disinformation correspondent Marianna spring response to your comments about the Radio 4 Series disaster troll the accounts of survivors of Tara summer experiences of disgusting treatment on social media will worthwhile, but we never got much past at what I wanted to know what really motivates the trolls how many are there.

There's been plenty of delving into the program archives to mark the BBC centenary this week, but what about those listeners letters do we still get wind up about the same things?

Grandparents did the final words in the children's our last evening consisted of be damned to it words of this description on never heard in many houses and I'm very present.

It's language being brought in via the wireless making an impact on our inbox this week though the just stop oil protests on the M25 motorway around London on Friday I sent through the excruciating interview on today with the spokesperson from just stop boil I'm grateful to live in a country where there is freedom of expression and the right to protest but must not interfere with the rights of others to go about their normal day-to-day life but more on that later, but first in a new 10 part series disaster trolls the BBC disinformation Marianna spring investigated.

How people caught up in the Manchester arena, bombing have been targeted with extreme conspiracy theories online abuse and threats.

On May 22nd 2017 22 people including children and teenagers were killed and over 1000 were injured when a bomb exploded at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester unbelievably survivors and their families have faced online accusations that the events were staged and that their injuries or disabilities in on Saturday immobile in a hospital bed and you getting messages from people saying they're going to hang you laughing about something that is so serious and so serious to all of what people have done.

It's a phenomenon.

We might associate with the United States and the billion-dollar damages ruling against Alex Jones for the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings were staged in Britain one conspiracy theorist in particular Richard D Hall has consistently pedal the line about terror attacks.

Including the Manchester arena, bombing he claims their part of a deep state plot is a very brief second where his expression is open all most welcoming before he sees the camera behind me and his face drops in touch about a podcast and that will do and I wanted to come here to get one some of you thought it was useful to Shine a light on this others worried about giving the conspiracists so much baby Radcliffe London the floor in always conspiracy theories is that the alleged conspiracies would require the secret cooperation of hundreds or even as in the case of Us thousands of people? What is the chance of all these people keeping the secret Village Richard D Hall despite all his efforts.

That's not uncovered a singer.

White death phone injury or self-confessed call seligman.

I thought that disaster trolls was a Week series for the time.

It was allocated.

It was repetitive gave too much time to no comment interviews what really motivates the trolls how many are there? What is there background William Palin Sandy in Bedfordshire documentary was an attempt to explore the mind and motivation of a complex and vulnerable person and it made for comparing listening the media and the BBC in particular.

Have a critical role to play in calling out lies, which any supporting evidence are sold Marianna spring the presenter of disaster trolls joins us now, let's go back to the start.

What may begin this investigation.

I was contacted by survivors who were telling me about the online abuse experience and how that spilling offline and I think it's something that we associate with the us.

We think of it as a US

Particularly because of Alex Jones and because of the recent trial that have our medication features one survivor in particular, who is preparing to take libel action against a disaster in the UK who's methods include spying on survivors of attacks and I think it just really hits home.

How it's impossible to untangle the online world from the real world real harm that it can do although he might be in the Spirit of Alex Jones if you like you so much more famous American that you mentioned hardly anybody heard of this particular man he's very small time in comparison.

I think you said yourself in the podcast that he had been doing this because he wants to become famous.

He wants to build his Brand and I wonder by giving him is amazing platform to do this something you've probably made him much more famous than you could ever have been any other way and I wondered inadvertently that couldn't increase the problems for victims because they're actually a lot more people.

Hearing about the Conspiracy than never knew about it before I think that's a really important question and it's certainly one that we spoke about a lot in the buildup to both the podcast and the Panorama investigation.

I think what's absolutely crucial is when we do these investigations.

We think about the risk of amplifying individuals and the disinformation they promote vs.

The harm being caused to them and at the heart of this investigation were the survivors and the survivors who have been left to stress and frightened by these kinds of Tactics I think it's also important thing about the consequences of the investigation YouTube channel belonging to the man who found himself sorted at the centre of the investigation has been taken down at the library action means that a lot of the content on his site.

Also seems to have been taken down and removed now.

It's still wear this person was selling books and DVDs promoting these conspiracy theories has been closed so a lot of the mechanisms by which that Fame could be better have actually been shut down I wonder.

It would be better for example for this is to go to the courts rather than be actually on the BBC where actually it is getting amplified as part of it.

We commissioned research with King's College and 4000 people a representative sample of the UK population and they found that one in five people think that TV times are not telling the truth about what happened to the minute at anything it opens the public eye is still a wider issue.

I just don't think it makes it any worse.

I think that that there is a huge problem on our hands and which I've spent the past over 2 years investigating and rise of the UK conspiracy movement and its real-world consequences and we need only look at what's happening over in the US the attack on Nancy Pelosi husband.

We need only look at some of the real-world implications of this and certainly you know the messages.

I've had from survivor not just those I interviewed for the podcast series but also those who have been affected by this.

He said thank you so much.

Thank you so BBC for caring about this and covering it in a responsible and sensitive.

If that's the only thing investigation does then I think that's a good thing brentley who featured in the series describes himself as a recovering conspiracists.

He was bored of online community who claimed the July 7th bombings in London in 2005 were staged since left that community and as apologise to victims of the attack Brent I know this is a very broad brush question and quite difficult to answer but I wonder if you could give us an insight into what motivates conspiracy theorists and those who support them personally and what motivated me was this like a trust what people sing the not understand.

I don't think it's a conspiracy theorists concerns are valid like there is corrupt world.

There is coercion there is cover up but the idea that the Manchester arena, bomb was fake tan.

That's not a valid concern is not necessarily if you isolate it.

Light it does sound very monstrous to say those things absolutely but what you need to understand is that this is more about a grand conspiracy.

It's not even about the victims that believe this thing like they don't believe there are vitamins, so don't believe that.

They're hurting anybody what they think is that they're doing is exposing a grand conspiracy have said that they are concerned about amplifying the message of Conspiracy theorists because instead of dismissing them out of hand.

We've had given a voice particularly in this series to a man who doesn't have a very big following in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, but actually we made a 10-part series about them at the BBC The Tempest series is really completely about him this series.

This is why I really enjoyed being part of it and I really feel honoured to be a part of because it's spoke about the people that believe it as well the people that spread it as well.

Adele been a lot deeper than just Richard Hall but the series itself is much more brought it shows non stereotypical conspiracy theorists that they're smart their care and they're not all monsters in the spring and her producer Dave deal with the situation respectfully they deal with it.

Responsibly we have to put these people to a corner some people have come across Richard Hall now and they weren't aware of them before could that be dangerous possibly, but we have to deal with it.

We have to have a sore head and I think it to the public more than it's raising awareness to the Conspiracy community and that is a good thing after these months of speaking with different people for this story is not last and his acolytes online but the bravery good humour and dignity of those who share their stories of surviving the worst.

Play Buried a bit depressed about it or I could choose to use that night for a catalyst for change, but that's why I do what I do.

You know I want to inspire on a multi you know I want to say look two ways you can live life you can be a Richard Hall where you can be a Martin Hibbert and that's what it is, isn't it?

You are choose Martin every time.

What disaster trolls has perhaps showed us is that there's a broader question about the BBC's role in uncovering disinformation and whether it fuels rather than cool spread of fake news and conspiracy theories so I spoke to Olga Robinson assistant editor at BBC monitoring.

She wasn't involved in disaster trolls herself, but one of your colleagues provide some of the data amplification is a very important factor that we always have to consider out before reporting under information or exposing any claim or it is unavoidable amplifying claims if you want to cover this information about I believe there are ways to do the reporting responsibly where you minimise the harm from amplification while maximising the benefit like raising awareness of a trend putting things in common.

Helping people understand, how does information works what motivates does information actors so there are a number of things here that we always consider before embarking on report for how widely spread a piece of misinformation airs has across multiple languages.

Are we talking about thousands of retweets hundreds of thousands another factories.

How handful does information is does a pose a risk to life or to democracy or security and if yes that is interest for us to report in this kind of thing so other times when you see a piece of this information and you think actually would be better off not reporting on this because we will only be a actually it doesn't meet that threshold that criteria patients.

We have literally every single day in our editorial meetings and other team meetings because we spot distance.

Time in my teams live online and embarrass online spaces and we very often spot misinformation as it's just a pen emoji faces online and then we track and see if you know because we can see that's only been shared not that x and hasn't crostini platforms is only there among parkour supporters of conspiracy theories or very short of hardline groups on telegram or on on Facebook and ask about the background of the kind of people who believe in these conspiracy theories is it me or is it even possible to give generalisations? I think we should never generalise.

I think it's very important to look at conspiracy theorists and people who spread misinformation.

Spaces people have different motivations some people fall into the conspiracy theories World in this rather go down the rabbit hole for various personal financial reasons and I think it's really important when you do reporting on conspiracy theories to really been pathetic and really be very open-minded and not falling profiling people over here.

She's a conspiracy better is means there this and that and that I think it's just not in anyone's interested in this dude.

Thanks to all Robinson Marianna spring and brantley and you can listen to disaster trolls on BBC signs if you like the comments on that or anything else you been listening to on BBC sounds BBC Radio 2 get in touch you can send an email to feedback at you can tweet us at BBC R4 feedback and you can leave a phone.

WhatsApp the number is 0 3 3 4 5 House London Calling London 100 years ago you didn't have much choice but to write a letter to the BBC and no sooner had broadcasts begun than listeners started to make their opinions summer strangely familiar in November 1923 for example a listener from Sheffield complained bitterly.

Why do we have to listen to progress from Manchester why the local station here in Sheffield should we not have a local programme of her own in December 1943 Iveco from Egham was shocked coming in from a Sunday school.

My ears were sold with black stems what the hell blasts and God's.

Holy name + themed in a most irreverent Manor swimming and innocent children or not to have the UN loveliness.

Adjectives polluting their ears Minds well former BBC producer Colin shindler has collected more Classics like that in his book.

I'm sure I speak from many others BBC be making programs as we know very well now for 100 years and all that 100 years people have been writing in to complain about them and you get a very good snapshot, what British society is like at any given point by reading the complaining letters and the complaints all different from Generation to generation from decade of decade.

I mean in the earlier days the big thing was swearing and then religion and then the royal family and what kind of swearing are we talking about my we recently and with Miriam margolyes dropping the f-bomb on today and I don't think it's going to happen to drop frankly my dear.

I don't give a damn we know all the problems that cause at the end of Gone with the Wind and down was the kind of worried that you would have heard on.

You by mistake as it were and that would have got everybody worked up in the final words in children's our last evening consisted of be down to it.

Will you please just such language words of this description on never heard in many houses one of which is mine and I very strongly resent this being brought in via the wireless Mary all so similar language was used in certain public places the police if present would have to take action yours faithfully ASP and Jewish I'll be hard to say I'm not any longer a Christian country in the sense in which I read these letters up to the 70s and 80s.

We were a Christian country and most of the people were writing or right from the standpoint of committed Christianity where the Catholic Hall methodist or Anglican that's where are so many the letters come from.

So what was the most significant changes then that you notice when you did.

It's not the coincidence that the biggest set of files relates to the 1960s in 1960s, UK and green is a pointed at the start of the decade become the new director-general and he had been as a young reporter.

He had been the correspondent.

I think the Telegraph in Berlin and seem all that stuff that we now know as being cabaret and he's seen the rise of the Nazis and the end of the Weimar Republic and then you all about the power of satire and you knew all about the repressive nature of government and his idea was at the cheapest far to Madeley ant in 1960 to deal with a new decade.

He threw up the windows let the area of people use the expression and said this stinking cold air from outside Claverley near Wolverhampton 1st of January 1961 to Sydney Newman head of drama BBC television dear Mr Newman

But for the Christmas celebrations, I would have written earlier to say how pleased we were to read that your department had decided not to show any more kitchen sink plays to those of us like myself whoever deep loyalty to the BBC because of what it has done in the past and what it could do again for the nation this decision that brings considerable relief and Saturday people look the television as they would to a senior member of the family circle with best wishes for your new plans.

Yours sincerely Mrs Mary Whitehouse clean up TV campaign tell me this how were the listeners correspondence actually collated in those very early days.

I believe that.

They were actually some women who were working there who picked up representative letters cos obviously not every complaint is not yes, there was a particular woman who I'm very fond of my never know.

Who died quite some time before I sat there reading ability of the efforts of her work and her name was appropriate for what I've just been talking about cabaret and name was Bette KitKat spelt k i t c a t from the KitKat club, obviously I'm not demeaning this at the very best kind of BBC have administrative assistant what you would call them now and she was the one who organised everything and made them insofar as the general letters I mean the individual that is related to programs come under the program file but she dealt of complaints Crowborough Sussex Model September 1952 BBC governor Barbara Wootton de Madame as a wireless holder.

I feel I'm entitled to write to you a governor of the BBC requesting you to use your influence in connection with that very objectionable item any questions.

Watch the meteor certain cities in burning the film Rock Around the Clock to the disappointment of many young enthusiastic the whole team is looking at it seems to meet the whole world is rocking and rolling have a bit of fun and having a bit of fun.

I understand now come prepared to shrink the job's against people who are not able to reply as late as the ancient Romans Street for the blood of Christian Martyrs in the arena.

It has become an objection or feature that look like yours faithfully weg, it's so much easier to complain today.

You know you can send an email you could just go onto Twitter and venture anger it's free.

I wonder if you think that diminishes the power of complaint the power complaints diminishes the historians ability to actually catalogue the power of complain because you can delete something on an email you can ignore the dust volume of all these complaints not more easily than you can if you get a rotten letter to me that because all these letters were archived that actually the BBC particularly at the Beginning did really care about them.

I'm terrible address to be having a real have a complaint at work for a long time and I know it well.

It's strength is its history it absolutely is in its history and the people who guard it like these people at the written archive I Have Nothing But The Great admiration for them the BBC will be a resource for historians for years to come not necessarily in the way that he has been because you say things change and we are complaining in the same way.

Thanks to Colin

This week's inbox has been dominated by the recent demonstrations on the M25 by just stop oil protesters who attach themselves to overhead gantries and forced to be closed causing massive disruption from Hampshire felt the BBC's coverage was far too expensive on Friday I sent through the excruciating interview on today with the spokesperson from just stop oil there has been extensive media coverage of the protest which have been usually disruptive interview was just another opportunity for the protesters to get a time to inflict and they believe that.

There's is a Just Cause and it's worth a disruption.

No, it is not there was no compelling explanation about why we have to have our lives disrupted by protest against many of you felt the focus was wrongly on the disruption caused rather than the message of the protesters who's Simon Shepley oil coverage.

Given the lack of coverage from the BBC and the just stop oil group with challenging the lack of Media exposure the BBC do not cover the climate crisis enough, this is the existential threat and I'll give you show me the everyday.

Is there anything more important to the human race you fail but not covering and explaining the issues for the public elysia hall added.

This is the BBC have any intention of keep its mandate to inform bebalanced hold government to account regarding the just off all demonstrations.

It would have a scientist on to explain the dangers of new oil fields and a Minister or defend the government's actions and I also asked a BBC spokesman to explain why protesters asking for legal and essential policies should have to go to such extreme to get any publicity Debbie Martin from Wellington and Worcestershire spoke for a number of listeners when she said that the emphasis on one man missing his father's funeral was wrong.

Reasonable to ask whether disruption affecting the public is an effective tactic.

I thought this Hussein's repeated focus on the impact on one man was disproportionate and attractive from the bigger picture of course.

It's people his life and yes, it was just awful for the man who could not get his father's funeral as a result of the protests on the M25 but the number of people around the world who are being and will continue appallingly infected and killed because of climate change is what is driving the action in the context of inconsistent government policies that fly in the face of their climate change Commitments survival for all our future.

I'm grateful to be young people who is speaking out and peacefully holding our government to account we put some of your points to BBC News no one was available to come on the programme hi ever.

They did give us this statement protests are covered on editorial merit in recent weeks.

We reported on the just stop oil protest due to the scale of the demonstrations and the widespread disruption.

Such as the world at one and day have explored the protests by interviewing and challenging contributors including members of the group and those who have been impacted by the demonstrations the BBC is Claire that climate change is happening and we will continue to report on you may have seen this week that a number of BBC bosses.

I said to appear in front of digital culture media and sport committee next month to answer my questions on the planned cuts to local radio which have angered many of you feedback of course will be closely watching the proceedings and on next week's program to Salford students Join Or vauxbox to tell us about their nightly devotion to Gary Scott on BBC Radio Lancashire we have the best boys scene in the business and you leave them across the weekend whatever team you follow in Lancashire really plenty from the sports team, but that's it.


Ring and giving us your feedback, goodbye.

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