|Lord Hall with the Head of Facebook (Caravaggio, Vienna)|
If you think that the BBC has far too much influence on the British public and that its desire to impose its values on us all isn't 'a good thing' or that social media, for all its faults, is a vital counterbalance to the overweening power of the BBC then prepare to gulp...
According to The Sunday Times, the BBC director-general Lord Hall is about to declare war on technology giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google because they are, he says, stoking “social unease and division” in Britain and threatening the country’s sense of identity.
Lord Hall says the BBC is involved in a “David versus Goliath challenge" (with the BBC as David!) and that the BBC "must win" because its values "matter more than ever":
In a speech to BBC staff in London on Wednesday Hall will say Britain faces greater challenges than at any time since the 1970s. “Technology and social media can add to this sense of social unease and division . . . it can distort our view of one another and allow us to live in imagined communities where we only really engage with those who share our views.
“Fake news compounds that challenge, eating away at trust in the media — including in the BBC — and blurring the lines between reality and so-called alternative facts. The country needs a BBC that helps society understand itself better . . . that explores our nation’s differences passionately and robustly . . . that projects British creativity and values globally . . . that reminds us every day of the things we hold in common.” His attack on the technology groups concludes: “These are not the passions of the West Coast giants — why would they be? The BBC represents a set of democratic ideals that matters greatly to our country: giving a voice to the voiceless, pursuing the truth without fear or favour.”
From the comments below the Sunday Times piece it seems that quite a lot of people believe this to be "self-serving drivel" from Lord Hall and that the BBC has far too much power already; that the BBC's values are not our values; and that the BBC's incessant agenda-pushing needs severely rolling back.