Creating Technology for Social Change

Is the BBC Framing Issues differently on Facebook?

Recently when I pasted a BBC article link into Facebook, the title and summary in Facebook presented the opposing view to that taken by the article. Here’s the story.

Right now, people in the UK are arguing about whether immigration contributes to joblessness. MigrationWatch, an anti-immigration group, has released a report which suggests a correlation between youth unemployment and immigration. A day later, the UK National Institute of Economic and Social Research posted a report arguing that growth in immigration isn’t associated with an increase in jobseeker’s allowance (for US readers, this is something like unemployment benefits) (pdf here). On the same day the UK border agency’s Migration Advisory Committee published an “Analysis of the Impacts of Immigration,” to advise on the “cost-benefit of migration policy decisions” (pdf here). They argued that while no causal link can be established, there can be an “association” between immigration and unemployment in “depressed economic times” like the present.

As you might expect, this has been a great opportunity to look at how different news sources frame the issue.

What does the BBC say? That’s actually hard to determine. The BBC has posted an article which discusses all three reports. On the BBC website, the title of the article claims “Immigration from outside the EU ‘linked to UK jobless’.” However, when I pasted the article into facebook, disappointed with this framing of the story, it showed the title “Migrants ‘do not affect jobless’.”

What’s going on here? Why would the BBC showing the opposite title on facebook to what is shows on the web?

On the web:

BBC article

On Facebook:
BBC Article's Facebook post