Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

January 30, 2012 -

A story by the UK's Daily Mail newspaper and the BBC that tapped an expert claiming that games were turning children who played them in to the wee hours of the night in to zombies has been debunked. The expert cited in the story says that the quotes attributed to him were completely fabricated.

The Daily Mail and BBC reports quoted Robert Hart-Fletcher of charity Kids and Media. According to the reports he said:

"Gaming is a phenomenon that's been around quite a while. Now we are starting to see the effects in behaviour of young people "In the past people had genuine relationships with empathy and compassion which has been replaced by this virtual relationship where they are not necessarily having to show empathy or compassion. That's starting perhaps to change the way they interact on a day to day basis."

All well and good, but Hart-Fletcher says that he did not say those things to either publication. In fact he thinks gaming is a good thing.

He added that quotes attributed to him are "completely fabricated."

"Our stance is that gaming, being in constant contact with friends and playing with other gamers around the world, is good for most kids most of the time," Mr. Hart-Fletcher told BeefJack. "While people can over-use games or smartphones, they can over-use anything - and that's no reflection of the value of the activity."

Hart-Fletcher provided an MP3 file of the interview to prove that the comments were taken out of context or completely fabricated.

The BBC has since corrected its story, while The Daily Mail story remains the same...

Source: C&VG


Comments

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

Time to file "video games" alongside Muslims, cancer, immigrants, the Romani, the memory of Princess Diana, and Britain's swans in the Great Big List Of Things The Daily Mail Is Incapable Of Being Accurate About.

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

Are they really incapable?

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

Incapable or unwilling, I don't know which is worse.  Aren't there some kind of journalistic standards laws in the UK to address this?  I mean, this wasn't quoting something out of context to spin it a certain way.  This was a complete 100% lie.  There's gotta be some repercussions for that.

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

There are standards and laws, several journalists in the UK have committed acts that would, if they were not in the employ of powerful news corporations, have got them time in jail. But the government is so terrified of the opinion-altering power of the media that they are afraid to face the challenge of enforcing their own laws.

We have the Leveson enquiry going for exactly this reason at the moment, as Ian Hislop, editor of the Private Eye put it, "We don't need new standards for journalism, we just need the current standards to actually be enforced at some level".

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

While I personally find what the Daily Mail is doing here (and a lot of the rest of the time) dispicible, I think it is best that a government fears its media rather than the other way around.

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

Agreed, however, I also think there is a difference between fearing the Media because they may reveal truths that are uncomfortable, and fearing the media because pointing out obvious lies and misinformation may lead to a campaign of defamation from the media itself involving yet more lies and misinformation.

Whilst I think it is better for the government to fear the media, I also think the Media has an obligation to the truth and should be held legally responsible when they are obviously distorting it to meet a political agenda of their own, they should be in the business of informing people, not putting forward their own agenda.

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

Yeah, I would say I agree with that mostly. But it is a fine line to walk between punishing media for false stories about the government and punishing them for uncovering inconvenient truths.

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

Definitely, and political bias is not political agenda, I don't think there is a News source out there that does not have a political bias, which is pretty much unavoidable, so a great deal of care has to be taken to ensure that one is not mistaken for the other.

Something like this, however, is an excellent example of why we are having the Leveson enquiry, because the self-regulation methods in place to ensure fair and accurate reporting are simply not being enforced. I think the tendency here is far more towards self-regulation than intervention, but that regulation has to work and be seen to do so.

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

There is a reason they call it the Daily Fail, remember.

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

Yellow Journalism is alive and well.

Re: Daily Mail, BBC Anti-Game Story Based on Fabricated Quotes

Not too surprising though, is it?

 
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