I don’t recall the BBC giving much attention to the banning of Facebook by the Iranian regime. However, all today they have been supposedly reporting on a supposed string of murders committed by a woman in Iran, supposedly inspired by Agatha Christie books.

No context is given for this story- it’s seen as a curiosity and also a news story as “She has been described as Iran’s first female serial killer”. She has? By whom exactly we don’t know. To me this seems all too convenient for Mr Ahmadinejad as he approaches an election. “See what those dogs have done to us again”, you can imagine his media whispering in the public ear (or Ahmadinejad declaring in public). An excuse for censorship. A means to blame the West for their society’s ills. A symbol of the encroachment of western ‘diseases’.

Yet the BBC’s man in Tehran, Jon Leyne, sees fit to report it deadpan, “Just like Agatha Christie’s villains, she made careful plans to conceal her crimes”. Yeah, that’s right Jon, only Agatha Christie villains ever plan their crimes carefully. It must be her fault (I mean Christie’s, obviously). Oh, and notice the absence of the word “allegedly”. Perhaps in Iran that’s not necessary.

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12 Responses to Selectivity

  1. deegee says:

    The BBC doesn’t own Facebook – yet.
    Now, if the Iranians had banned Lonely Planet, you really would have heard the BBC scream about censorship.


  2. AndrewSouthLondon says:

    Quite frankly anybody banning Facebook has my vote. Most repulsive piece of “social networking” ever created, and an identity thief’s dream. Bet all your favoutite BBC presenters are there?


  3. Addy says:

    Chances are most facebook users were expats from the age of the Shah, just twubblemakers anyway.

    I notice you guys are censoring posts in here now…LOL
    “This post has been removed by a blog administrator.”

    First time I’ve ever seen that in here.
    Should help you with your cv if you apply for a job in Iran or the beeb though, censorship is easy peasy once you start down that road.


  4. Addy says:

    It might help your case if you put a reason for deleting a post. 🙂

    offensive language


  5. Jack Bauer says:

    Didn’t Colonel Akmadinnerjacket do the murder in the Mosk Library with a spanner?

    Of course, in Iran, Agatha Christie is know by her non-infidel Muslim name Agatha Islamie.

    And her novels have been changed slightly to suit local tastes.

    For instance it’s now Murder by a Jew on the Orient Express; and Death on the Nile From The American, Infidel and Jew Conspiracy.


  6. Anonymous says:

    “Just like Agatha Christie’s villains, she made careful plans to conceal her crimes”

    That’s right. She should have been like the Glorious Leader Ahmadinejad and announced her intentions to the world!


  7. ed thomas says:

    Addy- just a classic class A-type troll. No reason to let it stand there. Moderating is necessarily random, given time constraints.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of “selectivity”, and there being no other convenient thread to hand — the BBC continues to go on about “duck houses” and Tories and so forth, despite the fact that a single claim of £1,645 for a “duck house” was rejected, and not in fact paid by the taxpayer.

    In the same week it was reported, although not of course by the BBC, that the Department of the Environment has paid out £300,000 of the taxpayers’ money for a report on whether or not ducks like living near water.

    Selectivity ? It’s what we BBC do…


  9. Grant says:

    I am really interested to know what was in the “comment deleted”.
    If comments are to be deleted, can we be told on what grounds generally and also for each specific comment ? And also the name of the poster ?


  10. ed thomas says:

    Grant- first of all the troll in question claimed I was suggesting that the BBC was trying to aid Ahmadinejad’s election, which was plainly not my point. Then on the same grounds he claimed I was mad- or “far gone” as he put it. I think the comment was not intended to discuss with, but merely to disturb, any prospective reader and commenter.

    Now some might say that I should just the let such a comment stand. Well, any genuine criticism would, but not fuckwittery, for want of a better word, backed by adhominem rhetoric. That’s why I describe it as a class A troll- a person whose aim is not to debate, challenge or contribute, but merely to smear. I have seen a lot of it, and to what purpose should it be allowed to stand? The comments policy clearly states that “The owners of this blog reserve the right to edit, amend or remove all and any comments for reasons of libel, gratuitous insult or any other reason we judge fit.”

    Before anyone gets the idea we’re on some high horse there- it’s only as a last resort that we consider ourselves or act with the powers of ‘owners’. Live and let live is the policy, but trolls don’t respect that- they simply want to close down debate through ridiculing and misrepresenting the things they read which contradict their prejudices and conceptualisations. It does have a deleterous effect, and unless quashed trolls tend to be emboldened, mutate, and undermine what confidence people have in the reality of what they’re engaging with.


  11. Grant says:

    Ed 10:25
    Well I accept that it is within your rights and hope it is “only as a last resort”.
    I would hate to see this website start to resemble “Have your say” !


  12. Anonymous says:

    ‘any genuine criticism would, but not fuckwittery, for want of a better word, backed by adhominem rhetoric.’

    That’s David Vance’s posts deleted then?