back to article Spanish TV turns Wiki-hoaxer

The Spanish "silly season" has brought out the gonzo element of the local media, with two TV stations vandalising Wikipedia. State-owned TVE2 changed an entry on John Lennon to say that he was fond of paella. Antenna 3 altered the date of Elvis Presley's date from 16 August 1977 to 16 August 2007 in the Spanish edition of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Motoring offences

    Sending Spanish TV to investigate why road deaths have risen, and why they are incredibly high, would only reveal the obvious. Spanish drivers are incredibly disrespective of anything that passes near them, that they all think they are Fernando Alonso, and that are driven by an inbuilt macho ego ... no "points" system is going to stop them. Only in Spain do you get road traffic deaths figures published on TV *every weekend*.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elvis's dating problems

    > Antenna 3 altered the date of Elvis Presley's date from 16 August 1977 to 16 August 2007

    The poor guy had finally gotten a date, and then up and died.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Spanish and points for driving...

    Spanish drivers are as keen as anyone else to have zero points on their license.

    What most of them don't appreciate is that they all start with 12 on their license and the objective here is to get through life without losing any.

    The penalty system here deducts points from your 12 point clean license for each offense.

    Oddly, many of the younger drivers (some of the older too) seem to have a target goal of getting rid of each years allocation as quickly as possible.

    mac, wellies, boat

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bit more accuracy would be appreciated

    Although is indeed very interesting and it is not surprising that some TV stations use this ethically wrong methods, I must point out that on the last bit of the article I believe the author has made a grave mistake.

    Fatalities on the road is not a subject to take so lightly. As per official figures provided by the Spanish DGT (Traffic General Board, generally translated into English) although the figures for August are "unacceptable", bottom line figures show a decrease in the number of fatalities due to traffic accident in comparison to last year (I do not have the exact figures with, sorry).

    As a spaniard myself, I must partially agree with the comment quoting "they all think they are Fernando Alonso" but only partially. Road hooligans exist everywhere, including the UK where I lived for almost 8 years and witnessed numerous acts of "road hooliganism".

    It is true: the Points System on its own it's not enough. However road accidents are a stain unsolved in most of Europe.

  5. Joso

    Killers on the road

    Blame everything on drivers, lower speed limits, and raise penalties. But, above all, dont bother to build a proper road or repair the crappy ones we have.

    And then, again, blame everything on drivers on tv aka goverment's ads company.

    Greetings from spain, and sorry about the mistakes I may have done.

  6. Stephen

    Points system

    If drivers didn't have to worry so much about getting points and loosing their licence then they'd have their eyes on the road more. Instead of having to look around in several places every second looking for a camera and checking you haven't accidently creeped over the speed limit you could just keep your eyes on the road.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You forgot...

    You forgot the other major killers of our time: computer games, wearing black and rock music.

  8. dv

    Re: Motoring offences

    >Only in Spain do you get road traffic deaths figures published on TV *every >weekend*.

    Not only in Spain. Here in the Czech Republic it is really very similar.

    "Points system" was enacted almost precisely a year ago, and the situation is already much worse than before. The totals are shown in monday morning news - usually more than 10 deaths - and those numbers are for the weekend ONLY. Week stats are not shown, possibly because the numbers would be frighteningly high. Suffice to say that for the first seven months of 2007, there were already 612 deaths. That means more than 0.01% of the whole 10M or so of people in Czech Rep. die every year on the roads.

    This situation stems from two facts: first, there's inherent disrespect of all "seemingly stupid" (read: correcting our already mad behavior) laws in the czech society, and second, the new "points system law" got VERY severe beating from all sides and parties - drivers (OMG the fines are way too high!!), policemen (OMG so much more work!!!), parliament (if the drivers don't like it, and everyone drives, we don't like it too; never mind the fact that MP's seem also to strangely like drunk driving), government (OMG, some brownie points in this definitely, let's thrash it too). All this has made the new law nothing but a piece of toilet paper (used).

  9. Markie Dussard


    You mean that if drivers learned to drive properly by keeping their vehicles under control, paying attention to the road and being aware of what is around them, they wouldn't have so many accidents and/or break the law?

    How blindingly insightful. I wonder why no-one ever thought of that before. Perhaps driving instructors could be trained to pass this vital revelation on to their students.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't blame anybody but the drivers

    A few comments on the above comments.

    Re: Quality of road surface.

    I've been driving back and forth the length of Spain for over twenty years and lived here for ten, during that time the improvement in the roads, both type and quality, has been enormous. What before would be an eight hour trip to cover 400Km on a potholed single lane carriageway slowing down to go through small villages is now a 4 hour journey on a well maintained autopista. The infrastructure has greatly benefited from EU grants, subsidies, whatever and no one can justifiably argue that accidents are a result of the state of the roads.

    Re: Cameras and keeping your eyes on the road.

    Firstly if you obeyed the speed limit you could keep your eyes on the road and not worry about the cameras. I know that's not a fashionable thing to say but if you want to break the law then you should be prepared to pay the price. Secondly I don't know if the comment was supposed to be about Spain but here there are very few cameras so that cannot be said to be the reason for the high number of road deaths. I have just returned from my first trip to the UK in over three years and one of the first thing I noticed, after the price of petrol, was the number of cameras on the roads. It seemed like there were a set of cameras every mile.

    Every summer there is always a big campaign by the DGT to reduce road deaths with the previous years fatality figures being shown on gantries above the roads. I sometimes think the locals take this as a target to beat rather than reduce. The Alonso effect is overrated, the problem is the Spanish temperament, they don't like being passed and will do anything to get in front it's that simple. A good example is at traffic lights, it makes no difference which way they want to go from the lights, the important thing is to be at the front. When they see the incoming traffic lights change to amber they will be off before their own set turn green and if they want to go left from the right lane than they just put the foot down and I suppose hope that the person in the right lane doesn't want to go right.

    Oh, and I think at the last count the deaths were about eight down on last year but the summer isn't over and the big return will be at the end of August so there is still time.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What history books are you reading??

    Tim Simmance said: "...their heavily armed flotilla of 1588 was destroyed by bad weather (which is actually what they're taught at school!)"

    Now, I know it's easy to pick on Spaniards, I do it daily! But facts must be accurate, and stating this absurdity is pushing it a bit, don't you think, Tim? We're not that stupid, we know we were not as 'heavily armed' as we needed to be, and we know we lost; that's all.

    On the other hand, why you feel the need to go as far back as 1588 is beyond me... Or should we mention the war in Irak and whose troops are out of there??

    Point made.

  13. Simon Ball


    DV. If the people, the police, parliament and the government all objected to it - how exactly did it become law?

    Tim. Am I missing something? The Armada WAS destroyed by bad weather. The English fleet certainly disrupted the invasion by preventing the Armada from rendevouzing with the Duke of Parma's army, but most of the ships that were lost were destroyed by a hurricane of the coast of Scotland.

  14. Steven Walker

    Give the Brits some credit

    We are working hard at keeping the Spanish figures high. Why can tourists not learn how to cross a main road?

  15. Rob

    Pot calling the kettle black

    Has anyone tried driving through Brixton/Kennington/Streatham recently? Some Brits may love to criticize Spanish driving, but in all honesty I'll rather take my chances on their roads than spend another day traversing the A3/A23 during rush hour. It's Death Race 2007 every day.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to Tim Simmance

    Spanish Armada was destroyed by a storm, but of course the typical english think that the won a battle? which battle ? name it ?. Example, you have names for every battle that you have "battle of Trafalgar", "Battle of Hastings" etc etc... but do you have a name for battle against Spanish Armada?

    Regarding spanish driver attitudes, the whole problem lies in the fact that penalization/punishment is ridiculous. Example, a friend of mine is lawyer and he represented a guy who was completely drunk while driving. The guy got free of any charges.. why ? because he actually went driving 30km/h and he was the one who advice the police of his STATUS. That's the real problem, people scape easily from punishment (driving).

    But if you want to see son funny stuff come to Brussels, capital of Europe. THEY DRIVE LIKE CRAZY

  17. Jim

    I know it may be a bit unfashionable but...

    To comment on the story, i don't get the " criticise Antenna 3 for failing to point out it had to register on Wikipedia before making its edits to the online encyclopedia." bit.

    If I read this correctly, it says that the TV company was wrong not to advertise the fact it was going to 'vandalise' the data. Wasn't the point of the experiment to make anonymous edits to text?

    Anyway, back to the 'real' topic.

    Good roads = better drivers? Bollocks. Good roads = faster driving = more serious accidents when errors are made. Maybe if driving a car was not treated as an immutable right then there would be fewer vehicles on the road and therefore fewer accidents (in all probability).

    Re: 1588 and "...we know we were not as 'heavily armed' as we needed to be, and we know we lost; that's all." English teaching is that the Spanish were TOO heavily armed, which in turn limited their strategic choices and defeat followed.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    come to Brussels capital of Europe


    Ahh, the only place I've seen someone turn around on a roundabout because they'd missed the exit. Also a three point turn in the middle bit of an S bend. And someone mount the pavement to pass the car in front because the driver had dared to stop at a red traffic light.

  19. dv

    RE: Erm

    to Simon Ball: they were not objecting until after it passed through the parliament. It is a standard procedure here, so to say, to give a sh*t about laws until it's too late to change them (or too late to bribe and/or talk one's way out of punishment). And when politicians saw the loud opposing minority, they decided to score some points and turned around too.

    And I'm not saying the law should be changed (at least, not this way), I'm all for harsher fines and repercussions. The other way ("laissez-faire") didn't obviously work out, and frankly, with czech people, never will.

    Ok, i'll get my coat, then.

  20. John Dougald McCallum


    Points system

    By Stephen

    If you got your self a recent road atlas you would find that most if not all static speed cameras are marked on it, also there are bloody big lines in the middle of the carrage way at the location of the camera ,also signs to tell you that there are cameras on that stretch of road.So you dont have to keep watching the speedo anyway when you have been driving for a while(some years) you can usualy tell if youre going over the speed limit so long as you dont drive habitualy like a moron.

  21. Luther Blissett

    It's the bends

    on the Spanish roads - they have a nasty habit of tightening after you've got stuck into them. Which means if you're on the limit to start with, you could be in for a nasty surprise shortly. Quite an ordeal if you only ever driven in a flat place, and no wonder so many of our hairy chested fellow european citizens fall fatally out of them. I shalln't be going there again soon. Not with that and hoovering up all the fish in the Bay of Biscay so the poor dolphins have to go elsewhere for lunch.

  22. Jose

    To Luther Blissett

    Luther, not everybody is "hairy chested" in Spain, and we, spanish people, we do not belive that every man in Britain look like the manchester player Rooney ? Besides, if you are not coming back to Spain I do not understand, because english people are always sitting on the "terrazas" drinking beer at 11 am.. or aren't they? And maybe that's the reason why you have a poluted view of Spain :-) .

    I have to say that my comments about british pleople behaviour on holidays was just a sarcams ;-) just an illustration on how easy it is to "describe" people. Have a nice day

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