Radio presenter jokes 'big tech crossed line' after 'bluetit' censored

‘We will not be cowed!’: BBC Radio 4’s More or Less presenter jokes ‘big tech has crossed a line’ after Amazon Alexa censored the word ‘bluetit’ from podcast

  • Tim Harford OBE made tongue-in-cheek comment on BBC Radio 4’s More or Less
  • Reference to the bird, which was in the name of a recent podcast, was ‘bleeped’ 
  • More or Less is an investigative programme about the accuracy of statistics

BBC Radio 4’s More or Less presenter joked that ‘big tech has crossed a line’ after Amazon Alexa censored the word ‘bluetit’.

Tim Harford OBE made the tongue-in-cheek comment earlier today after reference to the bird, which was in the name of a recent podcast, was ‘bleeped out’. 

The segment, which focused on ‘Scotland cases, flood risk and taxing the poor’, began with a review of listener feedback.

It referenced one particular tweet which read: ‘I was listening to the latest episode of @BBCMoreOrLess and Alexa censored the word “blue-tits” in the podcast name…’

The podcast team investigated and found that Alexa did indeed bleep out the term. 

In response to the bizarre censorship, Mr Harford joked: ‘Are we being silenced?! 

‘Big tech you’ve crossed a line; you won’t stop us talking about blue tits, grey tits, or even the Indonesian fluffy backed tit babbler. 

Tim Harford OBE made the tongue-in-cheek comment earlier today after reference to the bird, which was in the name of a recent podcast, was removed

It referenced one particular tweet which read: ‘I was listening to the latest episode of @BBCMoreOrLess and Alexa censored the word “blue-tits” in the podcast name…’

‘We are More or Less and we will not be cowed.’

More or Less is an investigative BBC Radio 4 programme about the accuracy of numbers and statistics in the public domain.

Mr Harford, who lives in Oxford with his wife and three children, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to improving economic understanding.

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