The BBC now have an "updated" image for those attempting to logon to Thorn Tree.
One has to question the validity of the BBC's reason for shutting down one of the most popular and longest running travel forums. Was it done because there were posts that did not meet Lonely Planet standards, or merely to save their own skin? Considering the flak they received over their handling of the Jimmy Savile 'situation', one has to wonder. Back in October this year, An inquiry began into BBC culture over the Jimmy Savile scandal. A BBC poll has suggested its reputation as a trusted organisation has been damaged amid the scandal.
When asked why no action had been taken against the DJ and TV presenter (BBC's Jimmy Savile) for almost 50 years, the police commissioner said people had relied too much on Savile's reputation, and his word that he had "done nothing."
A celebrity who was a serial rapist and molester operated at the BBC for years, was revered, and knighted. After he died, the BBC bungled its own efforts to investigate and expose him.
Here is a Transcript from NPR's Philip Reeves report from an investigation into the scandal.
From the Huffington Post "Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Closed: Travel Forum Shut Down After BBC Discovers 'Inappropriate Languages And Themes' "
Inappropriate languages? Inappropriate themes? What on earth is an "inappropriate theme"? A discussion that someone doesn't like? Maybe a few someones from the BBC? There will always be opinions that some disagree with, but is this a reason for closing it from the public? Is the BBC following China's lead - is there now The Great Firewall of London where monitoring and censorship is the order of the day?
The Thorn Tree is the online travel forum of Lonely Planet, with several different "Branches". There are the Destination branches, South East Asia which comprises several countries, the Thailand branch, North East Asia (also comprising several countries). The Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica branch, European branches, the Americas etc.
In addition to the Destination Branches, there are others. For example, The Cooking and Food branch, known as GS (Get Stuffed), the Women's branch - WT (Women Travellers), Language and Grammar, called SiT (Speaking in Tongues).
There is also that den of iniquity called YC - Your Choice. While there are threads on YC that are presentable, there are many that are befitting a sewer - known colloquially as "poo" threads. Had this branch been cleaned up a long time ago, it would have been far better, sifting though them is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack!
Their Politics branch closed several years ago and the Sports branch was shutdown earlier this year. It was in the past a good place to discuss sport but alas, was taken over be certain types posting their smutty thoughts. They in turn have gone over the YC.
It is my understanding that the BBC have been running scared ever since the Jimmy Savile scandal broke and they have received a lot of flak over it, so what do they do? Shut down the whole Thorn Tree forum. This of course has made news and has attracted discussions on various internet sites which puts them (BBC) in an ever worse light, whereas had they just closed the YC branch, it wouldn't have attracted much more than a battered eyelid.
Why is it taking them so long to re-open the Thorn Tree? Perhaps they don't want to spoil their brandy and cigars and are just running ramrod over things like has been done in the past by the chinless wonders of the aristocracy.
All I can say is thank God I'm an Aussie!