For many of those who seek fair and balanced reporting of global affairs, the BBC has long been the news service of choice, with many seeing it as the bastion of journalistic integrity, a media organization capable of comprehensive coverage of major events that delivers informative yet thoughtful reports on hugely significant happenings from around the world.
So anyone with the BBC News app for iPhone will have been more than a little surprised Wednesday when its most bizarre news alert yet flashed up on their handset, informing us, among other things, of “no nudity in the latest episode of Game of Thrones”. While many Game of Thrones’ fans may well consider the absence of nudity in an episode of the fantasy drama as something worthy of a news flash, it certainly didn’t appear to be the sort of update the BBC would usually issue.
Clearly, something peculiar was going on at BBC HQ, evidenced by the weirdness of the rest of the alert:
NYPD Twitter campaign ‘backfires’ after hashtag hijacked. Push sucks! Pull blows! BREAKING NEWS No nudity in latest episode of Game of Thrones!!! MORE BREAKING NEWS IIIIII like testing
As millions of the app’s users speculated as to whether the news site’s online systems had been hacked, or if someone at the BBC was simply larking around in their lunch break, the British corporation’s press office sought to clarify the issue in a tweet, saying , “Re. two incorrect @BBCNews push notifications sent earlier. This was the result of a testing error. The account has not been hacked.”
The incident was even deemed odd enough to make the news – the BBC news, that is. A spokesman for the BBC told the….er….BBC that its online team had been “in the process of testing new functionality for our apps and a test message was sent in error this morning.”
He added, “We apologize to our app users who were unnecessarily interrupted with the alert.”