Monday, November 27, 2006

The BBC, the baby milk and the indestructible nature of data

This is momentous. NHS Blog doctor reported on Nov 20th that the BBC had been conned by a pressure group called 'Act Against Allergy' into reporting a story about children's allergies to milk that was in fact a thinly veiled attempt to market a hypoallergenic baby milk substitute made by the company SHS international...who run 'Act Against Allergy'.

Two days ago, he started getting e-mails accusing him of not checking his facts.

So he went back and checked the story and discovered.... that the BBC have gone back and changed the original story! But as he says, data is never lost once published on the Internet... so you can read the cached original here, the reworked version here, and NHS Blog doctor's criticism of the original article here.

Today I taught a lesson during which I asked my students to discuss the question 'How can you trust what you read on the Internet?' They all said 'You can't.'

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