Missing believed wiped 

8 February 2011 tbs.pm/1243

— Not for publication until further notice —

And you thought that the days of the BBC junking its supposedly ‘unwanted’ output instead of preserving it in some form – whether it’s television, radio or online – have long since passed, but it seems that one of Auntie’s worst habits prior to the 1980s could be on the verge of making a very unwelcome comeback.

There are now strong concerns that instead of archiving those now-unwanted web pages for future reference, the BBC now seems to be planning to do something virtually unheard of since the 1970s, namely deleting the lot of them instead.

For good.

Back in the ’70s there were rights issues as well as the massive cost of videotape to worry about (to name but two reasons for junking), but computer storage space has now become ridiculously cheap so there’s no excuse whatsoever for deleting anything unless there’s a jolly good reason for doing so.

And since relatively few people would be interested in accessing such historical content, bandwidth costs for said archive material can’t be the issue here, although I suspect that certain management figures within the BBC are perhaps worrying about visitors mistaking old websites for current content (or something along those lines).

If “mistaken identity” is truly a concern, such content could be redirected to an archive section or taken offline but not deleted; ways and means around a theoretical problem that are very simple and cost effective to implement. Or you would have thought so.

Concerns like these – whether warranted or otherwise – tend to suggest a most unfortunate recurring theme within the BBC as a whole nowadays; namely that a cross section of its management still appear to be behaving like completely clueless idiots that are hell bent on saving money at the expense of absolutely anything else.