BBC sends weirdest news alert ever (UPDATED)


Now is the time to feel sorry for poor coder at the BBC, who was presumably testing the news alerts on the BBC News app when they actually sent out this message live to the apps thousands of users:


(Pic via @danpalmer)

The push message, which was sent out to iPhone users read:

“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”

Game of Thrones fans will no-doubt be relieved to hear that this isn’t true.

Despite reports on Twitter that the BBC has been hacked, it is pretty obvious from the content of the message that it is someone testing the system. Not least because of the words “I like testing” being included in the message, as well as mentions of “push”, the technology that is being used.


No doubt the BBC management are now acting like the Roman Emperor, and making the life or death decision over the poor coder’s job. Here’s hoping they’re not too harsh. Hey, everyone makes mistakes!


Update (10:44): The BBC has now apologised:


We look forward to the inevitable BBC Trust report that pointlessly lays into the BBC.

Update (12:01): The BBC has sent over an official statement on the matter:

“We’ve been in the process of testing new functionality for our Apps and a test message was sent in error this morning. We apologise to our App users who were unnecessarily interrupted with the alert.”

C’mon guys, chill out! It doesn’t matter! It’s fine!

Update (15:58): Good news! I asked the BBC if any the person who sent the accidental message has been reprimanded, and they appear to be rightfully not over-reacting. A BBC spokesperson told me:

“I think it’s fair to say the developer is embarrassed and won’t be visiting New York, Westeros or Essos any time soon! #TheDeveloperIsSaved”

They also drew my attention to this amusing tweet sent in the aftermath:

James O’Malley
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