The BBC confirmed last month that it would proceed with a 25% online operations budget reduction, with the loss of 360 jobs as a result. As part of these budget curtailments, a decision to reportedly delete and not archive 172 BBC run websites has stirred one anonymous online citizen in particular into action.
The anonymous activist purchased a ‘low end’ server for the nominal fee of $3.99 and used it to crawl, archive, and make freely available the BBC websites’ contents in under 24 hours. By doing so he/she hopes to portray the BBC’s potential deletion policy as gratuitous, and a “charade to appease the detractors to a strong BBC”.
In a written statement on this website, the activist states:
“The purpose of this project is to show how the entire 172 public facing websites that are earmarked for deletion have been copied, archived, distributed and republished online – independently – for the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee (around $3.99).”
The project effectively illustrates that the cost saving measures introduced by the BBC are minimal. He/she goes on to iterate their political stance regarding the issue:
“The purpose of this project is to expose the ‘cost savings’ of this proposed exercise as nothing more than a charade to appease the detractors to a strong BBC, and to curry favour with the current government. BBC’s current senior management has demonstrated a lack of leadership and a lack of courage in pushing back on these demands.”
The entire 1.8GB of content from the 172 doomed BBC websites is available to download and distribute using this torrent.
Image courtesy of Mike_fleming on Flickr.