When the massive London tower block burned the world looked on in horror.
And why not since the residents were still inside.
A day after the London tower burning an interesting headline appeared in The Sun, the hugely popular UK tabloid.
The Sun stated that Kodi Boxes came with a potential risk of fire for its users.
The paper also labeled Kodi Boxes as a risk to the general public’s safety.
Is this true?
If it is, then why did The Sun wait a day after the London tower burning to have Kodi Boxes make its headline?
Is this really an advice from UK’s top tabloid or just a great opportunity for it to defame Kodi boxes?
Of course, The Sun has to go along with the line of considering Kodi boxes as piracy devices, so it’s unclear if the warning is genuine or just government propaganda.
To say that everyone who saw and heard the plight of people living in Grenfell Tower London got severely affected by the incident would be an understatement.
The pictures were saddening, to say the least.
There is no doubt about the fact that the apocalyptic images of the fire will stay with the affected for quite some time.
And we hope, with some professional help, the people of London can return to their normal lives and try to heal their scars from the incident.
Coincidently, this gave the tabloids in the UK a lot of material to write and publish.
The building still continued to smolder and the number of people affected by the disaster kept increasing, and the UK Tabloids kept us all informed with well-timed coverage of the London disaster.
Not all of them though.
At least not The Sun.
The Sun broke away from the pack and did something different.
Regular readers of The Sun would know that sensationalizing news stories is something The Sun does very well.
And hence, on queue rather, The Sun took a bit of a break from the London disaster and put out a strange story about Kodi.
What does Kodi have to do with a big London fire with so many affected still trying to make sense of things?
But The Sun doesn’t seem to care.
What it cares about is reporting.
And perhaps one couldn’t fault readers when they raised eyebrows over the news article that appeared in The Sun.
One of the headlines that appeared in the headline read exactly like:
“HOT GOODS: Kodi boxes dubbed a fire hazard after IPTV devices nabbed at borders failed UK electrical standards”
Let’s give The Sun full credit here.
They did put in a lot of work in the piece.
After the less than an ideal headline, the piece went into the details of what made Kodi boxes a fire hazard.
The Sun article said that various entities had estimated that thousands of people living in the UK have bought Kodi boxes.
Well, the actual article said “these so-called” Kodi boxes but whatever.
It further continued and said that these users connect these Kodi boxes to their telly sets.
And this allows them to watch pay-per-view events including sportings ones via streaming.
Kodi boxes also allow these Brits to watch premium films without paying anything in the form of a charge.
Then, The Sun went to work and made a slightly unfounded claim.
The piece said that Kodi boxes presented a real fire hazard.
According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft, or FACT, Kodi boxes did not meet the fire safety set by the customs.
FACT had kept itself busy by nabbing large delivery of Kodi boxes all over the country as soon as they reach the United Kingdom.
One of the images in The Sun showed a Kodi box and the text for why FACT considered it a fire hazard.
So, what’s wrong with that?
Here is the interesting bit:
The Sun placed the Kodi news article in the form of a headline right beside two other articles that dealt with the massive London fire.
You don’t need us to point out there that the two stories have absolutely no connection and are basically separate.
Why did The Sun have this urge to pair the stories together?
No one really knows.
What we do know is that The Sun is great at coming up with controversy after controversy.
Sometimes it may have given us “good journalism” but the tabloid’s business model is based on sensationalism, not accurate reporting.
And as expected, the placement of the Kodi boxes new article did draw a lot of attention from readers of the UK tabloid.
Keiron Sharp, who is the chief executive at FACT, in an interview with The Sun that his group had managed to uncover two huge parcels of Kodi boxes.
The parcels had around 2000 Kod boxes.
Sharp told The Sun that the “caught” Kodi boxes failed their electrical safety standards.
And that is what made these Kodi boxes dangerous for use.
We’re not going to say that Kodi boxes are totally fireproof.
Neither do we recommend that people should or should not use it.
What we do mind is the timing of the report and the statements.
It is entirely possible that Kodi boxes do present a real fire hazard.
But this news did not need to make it to the headlines right after the London disaster.
The big question, is therefore, about the timing of the news piece.
And it is not about its content.
Let’s take a look what this organization Federation Against Copyright Theft is supposed to do.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft is the United Kingdom’s leading trade organization.
What is its job?
Its job is to reduce copyright violations along with other types of infringements.
Moreover, it is supposed to do that on behalf of powerful clients like The Premier League and such.
So is it any surprise that the Federation Against Copyright Theft considers Kodi boxes as a fire hazard?
In fact, the Federation Against Copyright Theft has made substantial and sustained efforts to somehow deter the UK public away from purchasing devices such as Kodi boxes.
Of course, the Federation Against Copyright Theft has to do what IT HAS TO DO.
And that is to stop people from engaging in copyright violations.
But surely, even the likes of The Sun and the Federation Against Copyright Theft would admit that topics such as death and fire aren’t exactly family friendly topics.
In fact, considering that when the article came out, the people of London had still not recovered from the disaster, it seems that The Sun along with the Federation Against Copyright Theft didn’t give much consideration to the extremely sensitive circumstances.
So where does that leaves us?
There are a few options.
One of them is unfortunate opportunism.
But that is negative.
And we don’t want to sound negative.
So, another option is to consider The Sun’s article as having terrible timing.
The Sun doesn’t have the reputation of being a great source of authentic news but let’s give The Sun some good old benefit of the doubt in this case.
And that too, for a moment.
We don’t want to give it too much leeway.
The first argument is that it is not opportunism.
But in fact, service.
The Sun along with the Federation Against Copyright Theft did the hard work and brought a pertinent and important issue to the attention of the public.
Both did that because fire safety had become a big issue after such as massive fire incident.
And since everyone in the UK was already thinking about it, maybe The Sun along with Federation Against Copyright Theft thought it was the best moment possible.
So let’s give them credit for that.
Because they do deserve it.
The Sun and the Federation Against Copyright Theft provided people with a valid heads-up about an important issue such as potential fire hazardous devices.
Of course, most of the people concerned about fire hazards after heading the London fire news would appreciate such as piece.
With that said, we think it is rather difficult to offer any kind of congratulatory message on the public safe announcement.
Because The Sun’s story about Kodi boxes, in its current form, does from little to absolute zilch to help the citizens of the UK stay safe from fire hazards.
Let’s not debate the fact that it is highly likely that some Kodi boxes will not conform to the fire safety standards in the UK.
Besides, these Kodi boxes are basically Far East imports.
And that means these Kodi boxes are just a small part of the overall imports coming into the UK.
The probability of finding a product that is not fire safe in such a large volume of products is rather high.
So even if some Kodi boxes do present a fire risk, the Federation Against Copyright Theft should have told the public which ones do and which ones don’t.
IF they can’t tell people that, then any comment on the safety of Kodi boxes is redundant.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft also did not comment on who or where do they Kodi boxes come from.
In other words, who manufactures these Kodi boxes.
Moreover, if the Federation Against Copyright Theft really wanted to help people then they would have told the people who are selling these fire hazardous Kodi boxes to people in the UK.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft also did not say anything about the serial numbers of these Kodi boxes.
And perhaps some guidelines on the list of devices people need to keep out of their homes would have helped the public as well.
But neither The Sun nor the Federation Against Copyright Theft did that.
They didn’t answer any such questions and the article didn’t address any related issues either.
So what does that mean?
That means The Sun along with the Federation Against Copyright Theft used the London disaster as a form of scaremongering tactic.
But there is something else that makes matter worse.
The Sun piece about Kodi boxes says that authorities don’t know much about the number of the seized Kodi boxes are at risk of fire.
They also don’t know if they should perform more tests on these Kodi boxes to make sure that their assertions are accurate.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure that this is the worst way one can deal with an important issue like fire hazards especially given what had transpired before it.
Needless to say, the week following the London fire was extremely sensitive.
The Sun along with the Federation Against Copyright Theft should have done their homework more thoroughly.
And if they wanted to write a piece about Kodi boxes as fire hazards then they should have done proper research.
As mentioned before, the timing of the article is awful.
And The Sun didn’t even bother to put in some useful information for the people in such an ill-timed Kodi boxes piece.
So should we question the intent behind the article?
But The Sun didn’t employ proper terminology while publishing the article.
Kodi is nothing but a software application.
It is just some lines of code.
So in the real world, Kodi can’t catch fire.
Of course, we can’t say the same about the device that houses this Kodi application.
This is what The Sun should have talked about.
The small computer that has the Kodi software on it.
That is the main problem.
These small Kodi computers that come into the UK are the problem.
More specifically, the ones that do not pass proper safety checks present the real problem.
It doesn’t matter if these devices have Kodi on them or not.
They are still dangerous.
Even without Kodi.
Therefore, to mention Kodi by name is completely irrelevant.
Even if the manufacturers of these devices sent these devices pre-installed with Kodi, the piece still should have focused on the devices more than on Kodi.
Anti-piracy groups will always tell people to stay away from devices that enable piracy.
That’s nothing new.
Anti-piracy groups have told people for years that malware is bad.
And that it will eat their computers if they share copyrighted files on the Internet or try to stream content.
And in some cases that is certainly true.
But anti-piracy groups don’t tell people how to stay safe.
They just tell them to stop it.
And that makes these warnings completely useless.
Since publishing the Kodi boxes article, The Sun has made a number of big changes to the original article.
It has replaced the text that said “thousands of boxes” to a number of boxes.
Then it has also changed “all IPTV boxes failed electrical safety standards” to “several IPTV devices failed”.
And now there is no reference to the 2000 IPTV boxes failing the fire safety standards in The Sun’s piece.