Video: BBC turns Corbyn’s ‘his brother’ to ‘Hezbollah’, gives away… what?

The BBC let slip something today when it featured a clip of Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard congratulating Prince Harry on his engagement to Meghan Markle.

Corbyn spoke of his admiration for the way ‘Harry and his brother’ have put a spotlight on mental health – but the BBC’s subtitles went way off script and turned ‘his brother’ to ‘Hezbollah’:

But did they go off-script?

Certainly, the substitution of ‘his brother’ for ‘Hezbollah’ is not a mistake anyone will easily make in the very clear context of what Corbyn was talking about – so was it a Freudian slip? A Pavlovian reflex of some kind in which a possibly-distracted operator went onto autopilot and typed something s/he has had hammered home as a link to, well, hammer home?

Or does the BBC have some kind of library of ‘frequently-used smears’ to be that led to an erroneous auto-complete incident?

It’s just possible, of course, that the subtitle operator is simply an idiot and thought a reference to a Lebanese militant group made sense in the context of congratulations to a member of the royal family.

Just possible – but hardly likely.

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  1. I recognise this type of automatic writing from dictation as similar to that of the commercial program DRAGON and it will use the words most often previously used in the same context. Thus Corbyn will be linked with the sound “his brother” with the number of times they have associated him with Hezbollah. If you have ever used Dragon you will know what I mean

  2. I wouldn’t read too much into this Skwawky. Apparently, it’s a software issue…Or so I remember them saying on points of view a few years back.

    Subtitles make great reading at times. Me dear old mam used to have them on all the time when she was alive (God rest her). She WAS deaf, like, but used to have them on as well as the loop – just for that exact purpose.

    I can’t exactly remember the last tory instance like this that happened (Just before the election) but I do remember it got a fairly wry (droll-ish) reaction from meself…

  3. Newsnight editing the wrong clips in the budget response.
    Laura Kuenssberg editing the wrong answers to questions.
    BBC interviewers giving members of the government time to answer questions whilst constantly interrupting questions answered by members of the opposition.
    The BBC’s record of inviting heavily loaded pro-government and pro-corporation panel members. And when they invite ‘opposing’ views they are members of the right wing of the Labour Party and its surrogates, such as Richard Angell, who represents just 2,000 people in the Progress Organisation.
    Studies showing the high percentage of attack stories and negative reporting against Corbyn across the media, including the BBC.

    And now this. Once or twice could be judged an error. Dozens and dozens of examples constitute a concerted effort by the BBC to undermine Her Majesty’s democratically elected Opposition.

    They were hoping Corbyn would be out by now but their attempts have failed and they have left a long audit trail of their biased reporting.

    This latest ‘mistake’ is typical of the very sinister anti-democratic propaganda of the BBC.

    1. It’s a bit paranoid in this specific instance, in my opinion. Subtitle howlers like this aren’t exclusive to the BBC or Corbyn.

      Things like Corbyn’s supposed budget reaction from last week; or kuenssberg’s selective quoting/editing of Corbyn I could (and will) put down to an agenda.

      This appears to have happened live – something that happens 000’s of times a day, especially on the news channels and especially when the subtitles are appearing word by word.

      And you’ll find no bigger critic of the ‘beeb’ than me. I have to give the benefit of the doubt, here, though.

      1. It is reasonable to infer, based on past performance, that it is entirely possible if not probable that this is not simply an error.

        That is not paranoia, it is simply inductive logic.

      2. Well, it’ll take more than the one instance before I’m on me way to being convinced.

        Might be worth firing off an email to bbc newswatch to see what their ‘excuse’ is, if you’re that concerned.

        Personally, I’d be more interested to know what they were playing at with the ‘Corbyn budget response’ last week; which looked like a more deliberate attempt to confuse the issues and the message. Certainly human error/design was much more a factor in that instance….

    2. Both correct: BBC focusses on linking Corbyn to Hizbollah to discredit often enough that it leads cloud-based language services to rate a higher probability that Corbyn was referring to Hizbollah on the news rather than his brothah. Transcription services are now being built into video editing software, which speeds workflow and also provides transcription files for internet search and subtitles. It’s mostly effective but makes these kinds of mistakes every 20 seconds. All I recall about Hizbollah is they drove Israel out of Lebanon and fed the people. Much later of course, they helped defeat ISIS. So that’s another strike against them 😉

  4. There were some ridiculous subtitles under Andrew Marr lately – just assumed it was a voice-recognition software issue.
    My old Samsung S4 does amazingly well with my voice now – but I’ve given it a lot of practice & I always keyboard-correct it so it learns.
    Still occasionally infuriating.

  5. Isn’t it possible they’re just using some speech to text software “his brother” dies sound a bit like Hezbollah. It’d be very interesting to ask the BBC how subtitles are generated.

  6. The establishment are truly starting to panic. The wrting is no longer just on the wall, it is broadcast across the social media. Their future writ large throughout the internet. Their time has past.

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