Tag Archives: Nick Philips

Euphemism for the sake of reporting

It happens, there is no fault, at least often enough there isn’t one. In this case I have issues and it is withe the BBC who gives us (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-63649695) ‘Gambling: Boy, 16, lost thousands after seeing advert’. In this, did he lose it, or did he steal it? Lets look at the reported facts. In the first we are given “Nick Phillips, from Swansea, said the boy opened an account in his father’s name an hour after a match.” As such the boy committed identity theft. Then we get “after seeing the gambling ad”, here we have a problem. Yes it is an advertisement and we can argue that the advertiser is not at fault, yet the ‘boy’ needed an hour to arrange for the opening of an account. So where were the checks and balances? Why is there no mention of the lack of checks and balances by the banks? Then we get (of course) the reference to loot boxes. I do not agree with these assessments, but I get that some see it different than me and that I fine. Then the BBC gives us the part that is indeed important. With: “Every video game console has a parental or family settings area. One of the things I really like is the ability to say ‘can this account make transactions? can it spend money? Also, how much can it spend?’” That is true, as such safeties can be imposed and I am fine with that, but the stellar amount of non-accountability is not OK. The boy was a thief and it had nothing to do with the advertisement. He took an hour to get an identity and get spending, according to the article thousands. I do not see, or agree with ‘this poor lad’, no it is ‘the degenerate criminal’. OK, the word ‘degenerate’ is optional, but it is a setting that we need to heed. In an hour a family member took the identity of another family member and how was that possible? How was it possible that credit cards, identity papers were so readily available? They mentioned he had a gambling problem, so why were certain blocks not in place? And we still haven’t seen anything on HOW it was done in an hour and what facilities gave rise to this stage? I am assuming that there were bank issues, but that is merely an assumption. I reckon that the credit card, if suddenly a certain amount goes into a non usual place alarms go off, did they? 

So why is there such a lack of information, and we see ‘poor boy’, references to loot boxes and whilst we agree that kids need to be protected, my personal view is that if they were so easily swayed to crime, the problem resides equally somewhere else and in this the parent get the blame. To be honest, I am not entirely sure that this is fair, but when a 16 year old can overcome legal loopholes and enter the field as an identity thief, we can agree that the parents failed to some degree at this point. I am not willing to fully blame them as peer pressure could be massive at that age (I was a teenager once, yes it is true, I was). 

But there is a lot more going on and the BBC (as I personally see it) intentionally decided not to inform you on that. And I wonder why.

I have no issues with euphemism. There is nothing to gain by telling someone that their child was decapitated. It makes sense to phrase it more like ‘He got ahead of himself and was unfortunately a casualty of events’, but when factual parts are misplaced and not reported on, is it still to serve the greater good, or to cater to an agenda? I will let you decide.


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