Blogger blasts 'irresponsible' BBC over Facebook hack story

Jeff Jarvis wasn't too pleased at how the BBC reported the news that Facebook had been hacked, and he wasn't shy about saying it.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Invited onto BBC News to talk about the fact that social network Facebook has been hacked, blogger, media commentator and author Jeff Jarvis accused the programme of scaremongering. He accused the Beeb of whipping up a "techno panic" out of a non-story. As interviews go, this one could have flowed better -- but I suppose you could chalk it up as a success of sorts.

Jarvis pointed out that no user data was compromised, and that anything shared on the Internet is public anyway. He claimed that the BBC -- like most mainstream media -- was trying to make people fearful of technology instead of highlighting the opportunities it creates. And he did it in quite an entertaining way. Click through for the video.

Asked if it was a big story, Jarvis responded: "No, I think it's rather irresponsible of you to go into a techno panic and make this into a story." With the hack only affecting a few Facebook staffers' laptops, and no user data stolen, I think he has a point.

Jarvis lamented the lack of positive technology stories, saying the media would rather dwell on the negative. "This is what you do," he said. "You come along and you say 'Aha! A hacking story. Technology is bad. Techno panic. Danger, danger.'

"This is irresponsible journalism," Jarvis went on. "This is crap."

Asked to mind his language, Jarvis responded: "The word 'crap'? I can do far worse than that."

The security breach happened last month, Facebook announced late last night. The social network claims it wasn't the only company targeted. "As one of the first companies to discover this malware, we immediately took steps to start sharing details about the infiltration with the other companies and entities that were affected," it wrote in a post on its security blog.

Is Jarvis right about how the mainstream media reports on technology? What kind of tech stories would you rather see in the papers and on the news channels? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.