BBC News-bait

BBC Newsbeat aimed “to provoke conversation with tweet about Ukrainian prankster Vitalii Sediuk’s alleged sexual assault of reality TV star Kim Kardashian

Last week, BBC Newsbeat – the flagship news programme on BBC Radio 1 – tweeted the following apparently rhetorical question regarding Ukrainian prankster” Vitalii Sediuk’s alleged sexual assault of US television personality Kim Kardashian:


Newsbeat was roundly criticized for using “clickbait rhetorical questions as headlines and “legitimizing an indefensible POV, as award-winning English author Joanne Harris (MBE) charged in a series of tweets.


I put Harris’ valid questions to Newsbeat, along with my own question asking if there’s any ambiguity around whether it’s “OK to grab a woman on the street, prank or not.

Today, I received the following reply.

Hi Dean,

Thanks for contacting us about the Kim Kardashian tweet.

We accept it could have been worded more carefully.

We swiftly followed it up with a second tweet, headed “obviously not”.

Broadly our tone is more informal than the rest of BBC News but we do aim to provoke conversation around topical issues like this one.

We were not in any way legitimising the “prank” carried out by Vitalii Sediuk.

Kind regards,

Newsbeat team