The Unreasonable Announcement Doctor Who is a Woman

How the BBC exploited equality for its own social media gain:

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise Jodie Whittaker being announced as the new Doctor—a previously always male roll—would receive some level of negative criticism.

It also doesn’t need one to know the criticism can in no way be acceptable, justifiable or fair.

On the the contrary, it’s guaranteed to be crass, asinine and upsetting to many people – especially those it seeks to put down, ridicule and make feel inadequate.

It’s the last thing anyone should be using for their own social media gain.

The BBC, however, tried to maximise its potential as much as possible.


The iconic BBC Television Centre at White City, West London, which opened in 1960 and closed in 2013; I once went to visit the Blue Peter Gardens, while in later life delivered an envelope to that security gate for Janet Street Porter when working as a despatch rider.

  • ‘Entertainment news’ unless being an unfortunate R.I.P. or related to heinous criminal activity is FAKE news by definition.

Even the BBC recognises the distinction, otherwise why does it have multiple Pages for various things?

  • If people wanted ‘entertainment news’ popping up in their feed, then they’d like the BBC Entertainment Page.

Yet there it was in my feed thanks to the BBC News Page sharing the Entertainment Page’s post of an article from its own website.

  • It’s one of its own programmes it’s considering important enough to give real news status to.

Though these points are mere canon fodder when compared to half the population being female (as current gender dividers roughly go), yet it’s taken them this long and numerous changes in Doctors to consider the rational mathematical logic that would befall an alien regenerating in random human form.

Despite the glaring oversight, they’re patting themselves on the back for picking a woman now rather than apologising it’s taken so long like they should be.

Yes, I became grammatically incorrect (or so I’m told) by referring to it in terms of personification. However:

  • One: a corporation, or organisation or group of any type consists of people; any action taken by it are a consequence of that fact – whereas any action taken by a real it such as a rock are never at the rock’s discretion or desire, but instead external conditions impacting on it.

The difference shouldn’t be forgotten thanks to alleged correct grammar, for then things will be blamed when the responsibly lies in the minds and actions of people and people alone.

  • Two: where I come from in London that’s how people talk: we love you, insert-football-team-here, we do – oh, insert-football-team-here, we love you. Etc, etc. And so on.

If you don’t like it, you’re being insensitive to my environmental conditioning, so can do one or come n’ have a go if you think you’re hard enough.

It didn’t just create and post an article announcing the new Doctor, they then posted a animated gif of the changing Doctors into the comments with the question:

Who’s your favourite doctor?

Posted as a comment the gif soon got lost in the mayhem.

Apparently it hadn’t got enough attention, so was used again as a post in its own right.


Screen shot of offending gif when posted in its own right by the BBC News Page. As it wasn’t a share, someone went to the trouble of pointing out it came from the Entertainment Page.

The post hits all the negative social media criteria.

  1. It’s off topic, so will get comments saying exactly that.
  2. It promotes a second page.
  3. While it shouldn’t be, the subject is an online tinder box – something that even if not realised at first would’ve been obvious from its initial post on the ‘Entertainment’ page; why want to continue the shit storm of stupidity somewhere else?
  4. It comes with a question that serves no good purpose beyond encouraging people to state a personal opinion in a comment, thus another bump up in the algorithm.

It would be nice to think that by drawing age-old whatever-ism out if its dark cave, the amount of enlightenment it found itself faced with might make it change its mind or at least have a little bit of a reconsider.

But anyone who uses the net knows that’s not how it works despite whatever wondrous and idealist hopes, dreams and wishes its inventor/s might have had.

Pointless Alan Partridge Page (Part II); slightly underhanded effort to make it as a self-published author (Part III); student interns on the wind-up or concerted effort to achieve greater social media presence by an organisation desperate to appear relevant even if it means destroying everything it’s meant to stand for (Part IV), the method of achievement is the same.

Such is the driving force behind Facebook it now has the parts of the media that could’ve been considered upstanding falling over themselves like clowns.


Not just another example of BBC behaviour on Facebook; this was considered worthy enough of being an article on its publicly funded website.

The examples are everywhere, though; it’s almost disingenuous to single out the BBC so much, but for how it’s/they’re funded.

Ironic: yet another BBC News report relating to something happening on social media:

In the battle to be online popular, The Independent

‘ has streamed a video it described as “live from space” on its Facebook page – but the footage was recorded in 2015. More than 180,000 people viewed the video during the “live” broadcast, with at least 2,000 sharing the post. The stream was ended shortly after the BBC contacted the paper and it has since been deleted. ‘

Superficially it could be concluded as all down to the way Facebook works.

Really, though, it’s more a case of Facebook being a jujutsu triple back belt master of something mere media never got further in than orange or green, more often than not as some regulator or other would stop them.

Facebook has the handy get out of it not being what it does, but its users.

Jujutsu (or ju-jitsu):

‘ can be translated to mean “art” or “technique” and represents manipulating the opponent’s force against themselves rather than confronting it with one’s own force. ’

The media and press are known to be manipulative and exploitative – anything to turn a profit or propel an agenda.

Yet, evidently not many people understand the way this actually works or how could media be so good at those things to be known for being so?

There’s only a small group that/who social media is the perfect match for:

  • sports teams have a naturally endless stream of genuine posts Page followers will happily want to see and eagerly give opinions on and shares of; results, team news, transfers, training and injury updates, information for getting to away games, etc, etc.
  • already established celebrities, such as the previously mentioned in Part I Johnny Depp, who can post about the most asinine everyday things and still have fans swooning left and right.

BBC New Broadcasting House, London which came into use during 2012–13. Apparently a big new publicly-funded building was needed to conduct online shenanigans from.

So huge is their presence in society, they innocently help maintain the idea it works for one and all, when even an institution such as the BBC can be found using every underhanded tactic in the book.

While it can do some good, Facebook thrives on mistruths, rumour, gossip, stress, conflict, reaction; what it suits someone to believe even when the truth is also right there albeit at another dotcom.

Enough of us are compelled to waste precious seconds of life pointing out a Page on Facebook has broken its sanctity by going off topic that to do so has become an effective tactic for Pages when trying to increase social media presence.

It’s changed the way we interact with family, friends, companies, governments, idols, even strangers.

  • The English Football Association put someone in charge of its Twitter feed who decided to use their position of social media power to mock an England player (BBC article here).
  • An online public apology from Lorde for a wholly innocent mistake made in an earlier Tweet was considered news article worthy by the BBC (article here).
  • The BBC is evidently spending an ever increasing amount of time reporting what happens on social media.

A recent retweet from England football legend Gary Lineker (particularly famous for being good at letting people know when someone else is about to cry) demonstrates how social media has out-trumped smelly old just media perfectly.


Suspecting a newspaper interview would be twisted to stitch him up, Gary was able to clarify what he meant before the paper had even gone to print.

And given all the reports about its negative impact on the democratic process, its reach has gone a lot further than anything that might be implied by social.

Something that’s always been the M.O. of the media per se.

It wouldn’t be unfair to say, then, that those behind social media had a pretty good idea of how it was going to pan out. They might not have been 100% sure exactly, but if the leaked memo mentioned Part IV is anything to go by, enough of them to matter didn’t care in the slightest.

Where it’s all going can only be speculated even by the best of them.

Previously in this series:

On the subject of social media:

Poetry relating to Social Media:

More on the subject of self-publishing:

Thanks for reading 🙂

N. P. Ryan.


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