Sunday 17 December 2017

BBC calls time on inaccurate clock

The BBC failed to live up to its requirement for 'accuracy' after it emerged the clock on its homepage does not necessarily tell the right time
The BBC failed to live up to its requirement for 'accuracy' after it emerged the clock on its homepage does not necessarily tell the right time

The BBC has decided to remove a clock from its homepage after it emerged it did not necessarily tell the right time and failed to live up to the corporation's requirement for "accuracy".

A report by the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee (ESC) said a member of the public complained after discovering the analogue-style clock in the top left-hand corner of the site "merely reproduces the time stored on each individual user's own computer whether this is accurate or not".

The complainant said the clock, which has been on the site since it was redesigned in 2010, was "inaccurate and misleading" and readers would "assume" it displayed the correct time.

The report went on: "The complainant said that there is no other piece of information the BBC publishes which it knows is factually inaccurate or unreliable. The complainant believed that the clock should either be configured in such a way as to ensure the time was correct or removed from the site."

The ESC concluded that users of the BBC website would assume the clock was accurate and the fact it was not was "not consistent with the Guideline requirement for the BBC to do all it can to ensure due accuracy in all its output".

The report said making the clock accurate would "dramatically slow down the loading of the BBC homepage" and the work needed to do it would "take around 100 staffing days", adding that the issue should be resolved "within a reasonable time frame".

A BBC spokeswoman said: "The BBC takes accuracy very seriously. Given the technical complexities of implementing an alternative central clock, and the fact that most users already have a clock on their computer screen, the BBC has taken the decision to remove the clock from the Homepage in an upcoming update."

Press Association

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