Thought Show, The [World Service]

Episodes

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#metoo: Part Two20180802

The hashtag MeToo swept across social media in 2017 as victims of sexual harassment spoke out to show how prevalent sexual harassment is within society.

The trending team are joined by Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle, author Kirsty Allison, gender justice specialist Natalie Collins and from journalist and activist, Meghna Pant to discuss the movement and whether there is space for both men and women to come forward with their stories.

More or Less: Getting Creative with Statistics

How big are your testicles and what does that mean? Data journalist and self-confessed ‘Queen of too much information’ Mona Chalabi talks to Tim Harford about her unusual approach to representing statistics.

The Why Factor: Female Friendships

How does social media impact friendships and is this new technology both a blessing and a curse? Can being more connected also highlight vulnerabilities? Nastran Tavakoli-Far exams the female friendship in asks whether closeness can sometime cause rifts.

Sexual harassment in the media and society \u2013 what impact has the #MeToo movement had?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

#metoo: What's Next?20180726

What’s the future of #MeToo? In October 2017, the hashtag became a worldwide movement in the wake of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein – who denies the charges against him. In the first of a two-part series, we host a panel discussion on the fightback against sexual harassment and assault with writer Kirsty Allison, gender justice expert Natalie Collins and Washington Post columnist Megan McCardle.

How do you cycle really fast? Former British Time trial champion Michael Hutchinson calculates how much better the pros are than the rest of us, and aerodynamics expert Bert Blocken explains the numbers behind slipstreaming.

The importance of male friendships: from the Obama – Biden bromance to the transformative experience of the men’s group, we explore what men can get from their friendships with other men that is unique, and do long held notions of masculinity prevent men from getting close to other men?

(Picture Caption: A #MeToo sign at a rally in South Korea. Picture Credit: Getty Images)

#MeToo: What's Next? What's the future for the movement started by the hashtag?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

#neveragain: A Turning Point For The Us?20180329

A special report from Washington, where thousands of students are marching in favour of stricter gun control laws. BBC Trending has been following three student activists affected by gun violence. The students are demanding bans on powerful semi-automatic rifles and a comprehensive raft of measures to stop school shootings.

Vladimir Putin has won a second consecutive and fourth overall term as the Russian President with official polling results from the election showing he received over 76% of the vote, with a total turnout of 67%, but there were also widespread allegations of irregularities including inflated turnout figures. We take a closer look at the election data from Russia to see if these complaints have merit.

Machines are merging into our lives in ever more intimate ways. They interact with our children and assist with medical decisions. Cars are learning to drive themselves, and algorithms can determine who gets government assistance and help suggest our romantic partners. But machines learn from the instructions humans give them. So, how do we know that the technology we are creating is going to do the right thing? Sandra Kanthal reports.

Students demand bans on semi-automatic rifles and measures to stop school shootings

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

A \u2018manspreading' Video Goes Viral In Russia20181025

A protest against “manspreading” went viral in Russia – but is it Russian propaganda? Activist Anna Dovgalyuk denies that she staged a stunt where a woman was filmed throwing diluted bleach at the crotches of men whose legs were sprawled out over multiple seats on the St Petersburg Metro. But media reports suggested one of the men was an actor, and a European Union website has described the film as “staged Kremlin propaganda”. So, is it real or just a hoax? And how does it fit into a larger pattern of Russian social media bots and trolls stoking culture wars online?
How do you measure a country’s generosity when it comes to overseas aid? We crunch the numbers and talk to Brad Parks from research lab Aiddata about aid donations from some of the world’s more secretive countries.
From yoga and mindfulness to so-called clean eating, women are increasingly turning to “wellness” to look after their minds, bodies and emotions. Nastaran Tavakoli-Far asks what is driving some women away from the medical establishment in an effort to improve their health.

(Photo: Screenshot from the ‘manspreading’ video that went viral in Russia. Credit: Anna Dovgalyuk)

A \u2018Manspreading' Video Goes Viral in Russia \u2013 is it propaganda?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

A Genius of Maths20170727

The life and legacy of Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

A Transgender Twitter Fight20180628

One short message led to a Twitter ban for a controversial activist – and highlighted the complicated world of transgender politics and how philosophical battles within transgender communities are playing out on social media.

How many words do you need to speak a language and how many words do native speakers actually use? Reporter Beth Sagar-Fenton finds out with help from Professor Stuart Webb, and puts Tim Harford through his paces to find out how big his own English vocabulary is.

People have been fishing for thousands of years – it is one of the last hunter gatherer activities. But increasingly it is becoming more difficult, as fish stocks dwindle or regulation limits the number of fish that can be caught. Caz Graham asks why do people continue to fish despite these challenges.

(Photo: Illustration of people going from woman to man Credit: Getty Images)

A Transgender Twitter Fight: how one short message led to a Twitter ban for an activist.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

A Vegan You Tube Court Drama20180614

Anna Scanlon, a vegan vlogger, has filed a lawsuit for defamation after she found herself the target of abuse online. She complained to the social media companies but got little response. The forthcoming trial could have major implications for defamation online.

From penguins to nematodes - is it possible to count how many animals are born in the world every day? Reporter Kate Lamble takes a trip to the zoo to find out the answer to a ten year old listener’s question.

What is it about beautiful landscapes that people like so much? Caz Graham explores the appeal of wide open natural spaces, starting with a visit to the English Lake District.

(Photo: Anna Scanlon)

A vegan vlogger files a lawsuit for defamation after suffering abuse online

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Algorithms, Crime and Punishment20161020

When Maths can get you locked up.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

An Urban Maze20170511

An Urban Maze; cartoonists of the \u2018Caliphate\u2019; creatures of habit

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Are African Football Players More Likely to Die on the Field?20170615

Are African footballers more prone to heart attacks? And the conflict in Venezuela.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Avoiding Asteroids20161124

We are getting better at spotting Earth-bound space rocks \u2013 but how safe are we?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Baby Boxes \u2013 are they really saving infant\u2019s lives?20170330

Are Baby Boxes really saving infants\u2019 lives? Disturbing rip-off cartoons and why do yoga?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Big Polluters: Ships v Cars and the 'Husband-Proof' shopping list.20171005

Big polluters: ships v cars, the 'husband-proof' shopping list and how to live small.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Blocking Hate Speech on Social Media20180419

Is a tough new law in Germany aimed at blocking hate speech in danger of limiting free speech? We hear how comedians are having their jokes taken down in a “culture of deletion”.

The World Health Organisation says 95% of people in cities breathe unsafe air, but what is meant by 'unsafe'? Plus, Mount Etna in Italy has reportedly moved by 14mm, but who is doing the measuring and how can it be accurate?

We all fantasise – the dream home, a fulfilling job, our perfect partner. But some people go further, inventing and inhabiting elaborate fantasy worlds. Nicola Kelly finds out why, spending time with cosplayers, delving into virtual worlds and visiting the nightclub where people dress up as unicorns.

Photo Caption: German comedian Sophie Passmann was one of the first people to be caught up in the country’s new hate speech law when one of her jokes on Twitter was deleted
Photo Credit: BBC

Blocking hate speech on social media in Germany \u2013 but is a new law limiting free speech?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Brexit Economics; Viral videos and US murder rates; Attraction20160630
Brexit Economics; Viral videos and US murder rates; Attraction20160630

What might the UK\u2019s vote to leave the European Union mean for the UK\u2019s economy?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Brexit Economics; Viral videos and US murder rates; Attraction2016063020160703 (WS)

What might the UK\u2019s vote to leave the European Union mean for the UK\u2019s economy?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Calling the Shots at Wimbledon20170720

Calling the shots at Wimbledon; China\u2019s video crackdown; and choosing to be childless.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Can we trust food surveys; Cricketing fans clash; What motivates magicians20160317
Can we trust food surveys; Cricketing fans clash; What motivates magicians20160317

More Or Less asks if we can trust food surveys that link foods to good and bad health.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Catching The Killers Behind A Viral Murder Video20181004

In July 2018, a disturbing video began to circulate on social media. In it two women and young children are shown being led at gunpoint by a group of soldiers. The captives are blindfolded, forced to the ground and shot 22 times.

The government of Cameroon initially dismissed the video as ‘fake news’. But through open-source investigations – examining details such as buildings, shadows, and uniforms – BBC Africa found that the blame lay squarely on Cameroonian Forces.

From the 10th July to the 31st of October 1940 the skies above Britain were a battle zone. The German Luftwaffe launched large scale attacks aiming to reach London, they were held back and ultimately defeated by the Royal Airforce which included many nationalities. The bravery of the pilots – known as ‘The Few’ - cannot be disputed but is it really true that the average life expectancy of a spitfire pilot during the Battle of Britain was just four weeks, as is often claimed. Tim Harford and Lizzy McNeill look into the statistics and consider which of the armed forces had the highest death rate.
Thanks to our TVs and smartphones we are bombarded 24/7.

Those whose job it is to care – doctors, nurses, mothers even – face even more relentless demands on their compassion. Until one day some feel they cannot go on anymore.
We are all vulnerable to compassion fatigue – whether we are unable to deal with more bad news, or to care for our patients and children. But why do we get it? Why do we stop caring? And what is the impact on society when people just switch off and tune out?

(Photo: A still from the video showing the murder of women and children by Cameroonian soldiers)

Were Cameroonian forces behind a shocking viral murder video?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Child Marriage and Dangerous Algorithms20161103

Is a girl under 15 married every seven seconds? And beware dangerous algorithms.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Christian Martyrs20170119

Were 90,000 Christians killed because of their faith in 2016 as claimed by a new report?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Could North Korea Wipe out 90% of Americans?20170413

Could North Korea wipe out 90% of Americans? The \u201cGreat Meme War\u201d in France; Clapping

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Could you forgive someone that raped or tortured you?20161229

Some crimes may seem unforgettable, but can forgiveness help heal the hurt?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Counting Crowds20170202

The difficulties of counting the crowds at President Trump\u2019s inauguration.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Counting Terror Deaths20160825

Has 2016 been a particularly bad year for terrorism in Europe?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Deadly Tower Block Fires20170629

How rare are deadly tower block fires and are tower blocks safer than houses?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Death Penalty Abolition20160901

The story behind the countries that have not executed anyone for 10 years

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Did Facebook Fuel Hate In Myanmar?20180913

Facebook’s dream of a more open and connected world has turned into a nightmare in Myanmar. The price of a smartphone SIM card dropped from around $200 to $2, and Facebook quickly became the app of choice, but it failed to control hate speech against Rohingyas and had very few employees who could read Burmese. What, following criticism in a UN report, is it doing now?

Is one particular model of car really the safest on the road in the UK, and how can new technology reduce road accidents round the world?

Have you ever been captivated by a book, full of stories you never knew, revelled in that new knowledge …and then forgotten it all? If the answer is yes, take heart; you are not alone. Sandra Kanthal asks why do we remember some facts easily, and but let others slip away, completely forgetting the things we’ve learned.

Photo: Rohingya refugees pictured in August 2017. Credit: Getty Images

Did Facebook fuel hate in Myanmar by failing to control hate speech against Rohingyas?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Did Sir Roger Bannister Make The \u2018impossible' Possible?20180315

Tim Harford pays tribute to a sporting legend - Sir Roger Bannister, the first person to run one mile in less than 4 minutes, who has died at the age of 88. After his record broke the ‘impossible’ psychological barrier, motivational speakers claimed the power of positive thinking soon helped dozens of runners to break the four-minute record, but what are the true figures?

A BBC investigation has found that a fake blog and fake social media accounts were created to support the campaign of the former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in the 2010 election, which she won. As Brazilians look forward to a presidential election later in 2018, Juliana Gragnani reports on her investigation.

Why do segregated groups still exist, especially “men only” clubs? With the current drive towards gender equality and movements such as MeToo and Time’s Up, aren’t such forms of socialising out of date?

(Britain's Roger Bannister (centre) being congratulated by Chris Chataway after setting a new record of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. On the left is Chris Brasher. Photo by Norman Potter / Getty Images)

A tribute to Sir Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in under four minutes.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Diet Coke Habit, 'Milkshake Duck' and Witches20171221

Diet Coke habit, the meaning of \u201cMilkshake Duck\u201d, and denouncing women as witches

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Does Eating Chocolate Make Your Brain Younger? Twitter Bot and Crowd Power20171214

Does eating chocolate make your brain younger; how to spot a bot and the power of crowds

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Does Sweden Really Have a Six Hour Day?20170105

Does Sweden really have a six hour day and what drives some people to become vigilantes?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Drug Deaths in the Philippines20160915

How many people have died in the Philippines during President Duterte\u2019s drug crackdown?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Dying for Cocaine20161027

How many people die in Colombia\u2019s drugs trade for every kilo of cocaine?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

E-cigarettes, Why Mexican Police ran away and Why Water is Special20160211
E-cigarettes, Why Mexican Police ran away and Why Water is Special20160211

More Or Less checks out a claim that e-cigarettes harm your chances of quitting

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Economists, Selfies and Holding Your Breath20171019

Exploring the work of economist Richard Thaler

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Fact Checking The Big Short; The \u2018bride Price' Story In China; Conspiracy Theory20160310
Fact Checking The Big Short; The \u2018bride Price' Story In China; Conspiracy Theory20160310

Are the facts about unemployment and the death rate in the film the Big Short accurate?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Faking A Trend On Twitter; Women, Oscars And The Bechdel Test; Dinosaurs20180308

How do you fake a trend on Twitter? “Grilled Lamb Delivery” was trending recently – but why would so many people talk about something so routine and mundane?

As it turns out, one of the top trends in Saudi Arabia was being promoted by automated accounts – or “bots”. And it wasn’t an isolated occurrence.This week we find out how companies make it look like lots of real people are talking about a subject online. And what it means for Twitter’s list of top trends.

Are Hollywood films ignoring women? In the 90th year of the Academy Awards we find out how many ‘Best Picture’ winners pass the Bechdel Test: are there at least two named female characters in the cast? Do those two women speak to each other? And do they have a conversation about something other than a man? We reveal the answer in collaboration with the BBC’s 100 Women team.

Why are we so fascinated by dinosaurs and will our love affair with them endure? Mary–Ann Ochota finds out why this reptile beast has become part of our popular culture, as well hooking us into science.

(image: Oscar Winners at the 2017 Academy Awards. Credit Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Faking a trend on Twitter; women, the Oscars and the Bechdel Test and a love of dinosaurs

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Gender Inbalance in Sweden20160204
Gender Inbalance in Sweden20160204

Have refugees caused a gender imbalance in Sweden?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Good News on Renewables?20161201

With all the bad news related to the climate, is there actually good news on renewables?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Gravitational Waves20160121

More Or Less asks if Einstein's gravitational waves have finally been observed.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Gravitational Waves20160121

More Or Less asks if Einstein's gravitational waves have finally been observed.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Hans Rosling - the Extraordinary Life of a Statistical Guru20170216

Hans Rosling - the Extraordinary Life of a Statistical Guru

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Have 65% of Future Jobs Not Yet Been Invented?20170601

Have 65% of future jobs not yet been invented? A hunt for the truth behind the statistic.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Hidden Figures: The Real Story20170223

Hidden Figures: the real story of how African American women were recruited by NASA.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

History Of \u2018fake News', Louis Bachelier And Noise20180118

The meaning of the term “fake news” has been completely transformed – so what does it mean now, and is the phrase even useful at all?

How Louis Bachelier scooped economists by half a century. A forgotten French mathematician’s unusual approach to the stock market. He anticipated both Einstein's theories and the application of maths to the stock market and his ideas were rediscovered decades after his death.

Why high levels of noise affects all of us. David Baker explores how different sounds can impact on people without them even knowing and how to make our lives more tranquil.

(Photo: Pocket watch. Credit: Kanyapak Lim/Shutterstock)

What does the term 'Fake News' mean and is it even useful?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

HIV in Africa; Hate Speech; Safe Space20160609
HIV in Africa; Hate Speech; Safe Space20160609

Why a claim that 74 % of African girls aged 15 \u2013 24 are HIV positive is untrue

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

How Deadly Was 1920s Melbourne?20180405

Fact and fiction: how does the murder rate within popular crime series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, set in 1920’s Melbourne, compare with the real life murder rate at that time? We delve into the archives.

After revelations about Facebook and the data firm Cambridge Analytica, there’s been a surge in people talking about privacy and social media. How can you keep your personal information secure?
Plus more on the student gun control movement in America.

Also, to what extent is it true that the order in which we are born in relation to our siblings shapes the way we see ourselves and our place in the world – whether we’re the eldest, the youngest or in the middle? Shivaani Kohok reports.

(Photo: Miss Phryne Fisher [Essie Davis] Credit: Every Cloud Productions/ Ben King)

The real life murder rate in 1920s Melbourne \u2013 has a TV crime series got it right?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

How long should we sleep20160714
How long should we sleep20160714

Why sleeping for longer or shorter than average seems to be bad for you

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

How Lucky are Regular Lottery Winners20171207

What are the chances of multiple wins on the Lottery or scrathc cards?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

How not to test public opinion.20161208

How not to test public opinion, also, President Duterte\u2019s online victory.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

How risky is the contraceptive pill?20161215

We look at the numbers behind the scary headlines about birth control.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

How To Measure A Hurricane20170921

How to measure a hurricane, Germany\u2019s new hate speech law and why we need romance.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

How To Win at Fantasy Football20170831

How to win at fantasy football, Jollof rice wars, and human remains in museums.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Ice Cream Versus Aid20161110

Does the world spend more on ice cream than on humanitarian aid?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Inside The Dark World Of \u201cIncels\u201d20180517

Last month, ten people were killed in Toronto after a man drove a van into pedestrians. In a Facebook status before the attack, the suspect referred to an "Incel Rebellion”. "Incel" is short for "involuntarily celibate" and refers to groups of men who feel that they can't enter into sexual relationships. They frequently vent anger against sexually successful men ("Chads") and attractive women ("Stacys"). Incel forums include rants aimed at feminism and women, and some encourage violence. We take a closer look at this dark online subculture.

The story goes that Amsterdam in the 1630s was gripped by a mania for tulip flowers, but then there was a crash in the market. People ended up bankrupt and threw themselves into canals. This story is still being trotted out as a financial market comparison to buying and selling bitcoin. But how much of what we know of the tulip craze is a myth?

Why do people marry themselves? Is self-marriage the last resort for the lonely and self-obsessed? Or could a commitment to self-love be a radical new rite of passage? Mary-Ann Ochota finds out why this emerging phenomenon is so popular amongst women in particular, and why self-marriage can be either a meaningful act of self-love, or the ultimate cosplay, and sometimes both.

(Photo Caption: Alek Minassian, the 25-year-old suspect in the Toronto van attack. Photo Credit: LinkedIn)

Inside the dark world of \u201cIncels\u201d, the online subculture of \u201cinvoluntarily celibate\u201d men.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Ireland's Shock Gdp Figures20160728
Ireland's Shock Gdp Figures20160728

Why Ireland\u2019s GDP figures showing 26 per cent growth in 2015 are hard to believe

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Is Democracy Failing in America?20170209

Is democracy failing in America and why has North Carolina been compared with Cuba?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Is My Baby a Giant?20170518

Is my baby a giant? tracking #MacronLeaks; why be a goth?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Is Steph Curry Cheap, and Fake Football News20170713

Is Steph Curry cheap, fake football news and what\u2019s in a kiss?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Is Steph Curry Cheap, and Fake Football News2017071320170716 (WS)

Is Steph Curry cheap, fake football news and what\u2019s in a kiss?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Is The Us Census Under Threat?20180201

Is the US census under threat? The United States are due to run their next nationwide census in 2020, but already critics are warning that under funding and a proposed question about citizenship could affect the accuracy of its results.

Some conspiracy theories spread like wildfire online, despite the truth really being out there (and easily searchable) so what makes people continue to share conspiracies on social media?

Why are more and more people giving up all food produced from animals? Mary-Ann Ochota explores the rise in veganism. She looks at how social media is helping spread the vegan message, the pros and cons of a solely plant based diet and whether eating meat today is ethical.

(Photo: Concerned woman holding a clipboard and a pen. Credit: Nicolas McComber/Getty Images)

Is the US census under threat? Plus, conspiracy theories on social media, and veganism

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Italy's Football Failure, Russia's Blogger for President20171123

Italy's World Cup failure. Plus, Russia\u2019s opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Just How Rare Is A Hole-in-one?20180111

There are golfers who could go an entire lifetime without getting a hole-in-one. Recently the BBC reported a pair of amateur players who each scored one - one after the other. It was reported widely that there was a 1 in 17 million chance of this happening. We speak to maths writer, Rob Eastaway, who explains the difficulties of trying to work out the chances.

Why do people hear voices in their head - like Rachel Waddingham who hears three-year-old Blue, 11-year-old Elfie and a panel of three critical scientists. Around 2% of people claim, like Rachel, to be inhabited by voices with whom they have full blown relationships. Are they all sick? And why have some psychologists changed their minds about the dangers of colluding with the voices?

Social media has become an integral part of modern life - but what if you have been in jail for the last 30 years? Many recently released so-called juvenile lifers in the US now find themselves grappling with the mysteries of Facebook and Whatsapp, and other aspects of new technology.

(Photo: Man playing golf. Credit: Shutterstock)

How rare is it for golfers to score a hole-in-one? Plus, are people who hear voices sick?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Kilobyte to Brontobyte, Sexist Double Standards and Staying Put20171012

Kilobyte to brontobyte: naming monster numbers, sexist double standards and staying put.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Kilobyte to Brontobyte, Social Media Review and Habits20171228

Kilobyte to Brontobyte: naming monster numbers, social media review and matters of habit

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Leicester City Football Fluke, The Perfect Promposal, Why We Build Statues20160512
Leicester City Football Fluke, The Perfect Promposal, Why We Build Statues20160512

How surprising was it that Leicester City finished top of English Premier League?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Liberia\u2019s Rape Statistic Debunked20161117

Is the claim that three out of four women were raped during Liberia's civil war true?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Life After Life for US Ex-Prisoners20180524

Ex-prisoners in the US are struggling to cope with the online world after years in jail.

We hear from recently released so-called juvenile lifers who find themselves grappling with social media and other aspects of life online. The prison authorities and family members have had to ease them into it – with mixed results.

If you’re 6’8” in the US – what are your chances of playing professional basketball? Tim Harford looks at the likelihood that former FBI Director James Comey – or any very tall person - might have made it as a pro in the NBA. He speaks to data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz who has crunched the numbers on height, class and race to find out who is more likely to make it as a basketball superstar.

The transhumanist movement believes that science is close to finding a cure for aging and that within decades we will have beaten death. Chloe Hadjimatheou asks why some people chase immortality and what exactly are the lengths they will go to.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Preparing Long Term Prisoners for High-Tech Life After Jail in the United States

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Life As A Youtube Child Star20180809

What’s it like to be a young YouTube star? Siblings Jaadin and Arabella Daho's lives have significantly changed since they went viral on YouTube in 2015. At just 10 and 11 years old their videos racked up 17 million views. But along with the money and fame has come abuse, both online and off. How has YouTube stardom affected these teenagers and their family?
Does a baked potato contain the equivalent of 19 cubes of sugar? We look into this claim to see whether the simple spud is hiding a sweet secret.

Why do so many of us love boats? Lesley Curwen, a proud owner of a yacht, finds out how our love affair with the boat can be a deep, passionate attachment and how in some cultures boats are seen as living things and the best place to create memories far from the busy world of dry land.

(Photo: Jaadin and Arabella Daho shooting one of their YouTube videos. BBC Copyright)

Life as a YouTube child star \u2013 how fame and money can come with online abuse.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

London's High-rise Death Toll20170907

London's high-rise death toll, Hurricane Harvey\u2019s fake news, and complicated technology

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Making Penalty Shoot-outs Fairer20170706

Making penalty shoot-outs fairer; a teenager\u2019s murder in India, and why choose polygamy?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Menstrual Syncing20160908

Is it true that women who spend time together end up menstruating together?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Mexico's Fake News Problem20180531

Political parties in Mexico are being accused of using bots to influence voter behaviour before the upcoming presidential election. Who’s behind online propaganda in the country and what are the new groups trying to fight the spread of fake news ?

We tackle some of our listeners’ questions from Australia: do one in seven businessmen throw out their pants after wearing them once? This is a claim made by an expert talking about clothes waste – but what does it come from? Do horses kill more people than venomous animals? And how many Australians have used cannabis – is it as many as is claimed?

Why do we have such a close and complex relationship with dogs? Whether you love or hate them, it’s undeniable that they're special to us. Mary-Ann Ochota delves into the emotion, science and history that sets them apart.

(Photo: Automated accounts boosted the 2012 presidential campaign of Enrique Pena Nieto. Credit: Getty Images)

Bots and cyber trolls are accused in Mexico of influencing voters ahead of elections.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

More Boys than Girls in Sweden?20170803

Reports suggest there could be 123 boys for every 100 girls age 16-17 in Sweden

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More Horses than Tanks?20170914

More horses than tanks, the fake war photographer and why do we ask \u2018What do you do\u2019?

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More plastic than fish; Sexual harassment in Iran; Why we like what we like20160218
More plastic than fish; Sexual harassment in Iran; Why we like what we like20160218

More Or Less asks if it\u2019s true that soon there will be more plastic than fish in the sea

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Most Expensive Building, Don't Buy Death, How America Sees Itself20160428
Most Expensive Building, Don't Buy Death, How America Sees Itself20160428

Will a new nuclear power station in the UK be the most expensive 'object' ever built?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Mr Darcy\u2019s Wealth20171130

How rich is Mr Darcy, the male love interest in Pride and Prejudice?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Murder Rates in London and New York20180412

London’s murder rate is on the rise – and for the first time ever it has just overtaken New York’s, according to a number of media outlets. But is it true, and is it appropriate to compare between the two cities?

North Korea has strict regulations about what types of information can be accessed by citizens inside the country, so why is it allowing overseas photographers to set up YouTube channels about some aspects of everyday life there? Plus, why is the internet being cut off again and again in the disputed north Indian state of Kashmir?

According to one expert, a majority of restaurants fail in their first year. So why do so many people dream of opening a restaurant when the odds are stacked against them? Mary-Ann Ochota reports.

(Photo: Police officers inspect the scene of a knife attack in London. Credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Comparing murder rates in London and New York \u2013 is London now more deadly?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Neo-nazi Hate Music20180322

A BBC Trending investigation has found huge inconsistencies in how YouTube deals with neo-Nazi hate music. These are songs - many from punk and hardcore bands active in the 80s and 90s – which have found a new life in online videos, using extreme violent language and imagery to advocate murder and violence against minority groups.

Whenever Donald Trump talks about trade, he points to the US trade balance, claiming America has a trade deficit with almost every country in the world. We unpick whether President Trump is quoting the correct numbers, and hear how trade figures can vary widely between countries, depending on how they do the counting.

Laziness, slothfulness, idleness and apathy are used as criticisms and insults against individuals, groups and sometimes whole countries. But why? The Greeks saw laziness as a virtue and something to be sought after whereas today we look down on being unproductive. Catherine Carr asks if we should keep ourselves constantly busy or feel less guilty about doing nothing.

(Photo: A screen grab from a neo-Nazi music video on YouTube. / Credit: YouTube)

We discover huge inconsistencies in how YouTube deals with neo-Nazi hate music.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Nigerian Lawmakers, 'Calexit' Hashtag, Dark Tourism20171109

Do Nigerian Lawmakers get $1.7m, Who Pushed the 'Calexit' Hashtag, and Dark Tourism

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Novelists in Numbers20171102

The words novelists use obsessively and why

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Numbers Of The Year 2015 Part 220160107

More Or Less looks back over some of the numbers that made the news in 2015

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Numbers Of The Year 2015 Part 220160107

More Or Less looks back over some of the numbers that made the news in 2015

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Numbers Of The Year 2015: Part Three20160114

More Or Less hears why Americans should take more time off.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Numbers Of The Year 2015: Part Three20160114

More Or Less hears why Americans should take more time off.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Odd Socks and Algorithms20160804

How the techniques of computer science can help us in everyday life.

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Odd Socks and Algorithms2016080420160807 (WS)

How the techniques of computer science can help us in everyday life.

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Oxfam And Wealth Inequality20160128

More Or Less asks if adding up individual wealth helps to measure global inequality

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Oxfam And Wealth Inequality20160128

More Or Less asks if adding up individual wealth helps to measure global inequality

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Police shootings in the United States20160721
Police shootings in the United States20160721

Why journalists are doing the counting for the numbers killed by police in the US

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Pop Albums, the Russian Web and Dubbing Movies20171116

Why pop music albums are getting longer, how free is the Russian web, and dubbing movies

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Post UK Election Special20170622

Post UK election analysis; war in the quilting world, and are exams the best test?

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Predicting Olympic Medals20160811

How statistics can help to predict how many Olympic medals each nation will win

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Predicting Olympic Medals2016081120160814 (WS)

How statistics can help to predict how many Olympic medals each nation will win

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Raising Other People's Children20170810

Child Safety Whistleblowers, Why Raise Other People's Children, Unsung Prime Numbers

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Ranking Iceland's Football Team; Social Media Movements Inspired By The Uk's Vote To Leave The Eu; Why We Love Cycling20160707
Ranking Iceland's Football Team; Social Media Movements Inspired By The Uk's Vote To Leave The Eu; Why We Love Cycling20160707

Ranking Iceland\u2019s Football Team \u2013 is it the best football team in the world per capita?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Ranking Iceland's Football Team; Social Media Movements Inspired By The Uk's Vote To Leave The Eu; Why We Love Cycling2016070720160710 (WS)

Ranking Iceland\u2019s Football Team \u2013 is it the best football team in the world per capita?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Refugee Camp Statistics, the Prison Pen Pal Debate, Being Thin20160602
Refugee Camp Statistics, the Prison Pen Pal Debate, Being Thin20160602

What is the average length of stay in a refugee camp? Is it true that it is 17 years?

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Rise Of Extreme Pranking, The Fall In Drinking In Russia, Learning About Pain20180215

Why has there been a disturbing rise in internet pranks that simulate real life attacks? In an exclusive interview, we hear from YouTuber Arya Mosallah, who had his channel terminated after some of his videos - which some thought resembled acid attacks - were removed from the site. And we look at the ethics and morals of the people making videos in the pranking genre.

There’s a stereotype of Russia as a nation of vodka-swilling hard drinkers – but is that idea out of date? The Russian health minister told a conference recently that the country’s alcohol consumption there has dropped by 80% in just five years. Can that be true?

Pain comes to us all at some point in our lives, but a person’s pain is a unique experience and describing what hurts is not a simple task. Sandra Kanthal asks why we need to understand more about pain and reports on new ways being developed to measure and manage it.

(image: People stand next to a shelf with strong drinks in a food store in Moscow. Credit Andrey Smirnov/Getty Images)

The rise of extreme pranking; has drinking in Russia gone down? Also, understanding pain.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Russian Extremism Memes20180920

Why are some Russians put on extremist watch lists for saving or posting memes online? Maria Motuznaya was investigated by police after saving edgy memes on her account on the social network VKontakte. Hundreds of Russians are being targeted for using memes declared to be racist, offensive or against the Russian Orthodox Church. People on the list have their bank account frozen and some face criminal charges. Will a blogger’s campaign make a difference?
Are you more chimp or Neanderthal? We often hear scientists talking about how we are related but what’s the difference between 96% similarity and sharing 20% of our DNA, and do some of us literally have pieces of Neanderthal within us? Tim Harford talks to Peter Donnelly, Professor of Statistical Science at the University of Oxford.
Why is the relationship between fathers and sons so important? Nastaran Tavakoli-Far investigates.

(Photo: A pair of hands in handcuffs hold a mobile phone showing the VKontakte website. Credit: Anton Vaganov/Interpress/TASS)

Why are some Russians being placed on extremist watch lists for posting memes?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Safe Drinking, Sex Tape Mystery and Fanfiction20160331
Safe Drinking, Sex Tape Mystery and Fanfiction20160331

Are the benefits and harms of drinking alcohol being judged correctly?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Samba, Strings and the Story of HIV20170608

Samba, strings and the story of HIV and the past and future of social network 4chan

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Sandy Hook Hoaxers Update20180816

An update on American conspiracy theorists who deny that twenty-six people, mostly young children, died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. False rumours that the attacks were staged were pushed by media mogul Alex Jones, and his online news site Infowars. Big social media companies have now shut down Infowars’ and Alex Jones’ accounts. This is an update of a story that was originally broadcast in March 2017.

How do you get a hashtag to trend around the world? We look at the numbers behind the case of a politician who is little known outside the United Kingdom but became a hot topic online.

Lesley Curwen has sailed thousands of miles around Europe on her yacht and knows the strange joy of being out of sight of land. Talking to fellow sea-lovers , she asks why we are drawn to go to sea and put ourselves at the mercy of wind and waves.

Photo: Alex Jones, founder of Infowars
Credit: Getty Images

An update on the conspiracy theorists who deny the shootings at Sandy Hook took place.

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Sexist Data Crisis, Trading Medicine in Venezuela, Copying Art20160616
Sexist Data Crisis, Trading Medicine in Venezuela, Copying Art20160616

How countries around the world fail to collect adequate data about their female citizens

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Should we really be drinking eight glasses of water a day?20170112

Should we really be drinking eight glasses of water a day, and why do people own guns?

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Simpson's Paradox; The Prank Call Crimewave; How The Rest Of The World Sees America20160505
Simpson's Paradox; The Prank Call Crimewave; How The Rest Of The World Sees America20160505

Simpson\u2019s Paradox explains how two opposite findings can statistically both be true

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Social Media And Losing Weight20180927

Do dieting influencers and online communities help or hurt when you’re trying to get in shape? Some find social media groups a useful source of support, but there are concerns that some of the advice might not be as healthy as it seems, and that social media celebrities are setting unhelpful and unrealistic body expectations.

President Trump disputed the official figures for the death toll after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico a year ago, tweeting that the Democrats were inflating the death toll to "make me look as bad as possible". So, who is right, and how do you determine who died as a result of a natural disaster?

How has feminism affected the relationship between mothers and their sons. Feminist mothers share with Nastaran Tavakoli-Far the complexities of bringing up boys.

Photo Caption: A woman stands on a bathroom scale
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Can social media help you to lose weight or is some advice less healthy than it seems?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Sperm Counts and Deleted Protest Posts20170928

Sperm \u2013 are we going extinct? The deleted protest posts, and why be a surrogate mother?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Statistics Of The Year 2017; Youtube And Child Safety; Sleepwalking20180104

How many active phone lines are there in the world? How many people die from lawn mowers on average each year in the US? How does this compare to terrorism deaths? Plus, is England densely populated compared to the rest of the world? We speak to Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter about the winners of the Royal Statistical Society’s competition to find numbers reported in the news that surprise us.

An update on what happened after BBC Trending’s investigation on YouTube which revealed the extent of predators on the site. What changes have YouTube made and how did the report affect advertising on the site and its parent company Google?

Why do some of us do bizarre things in our sleep such as riding a motorbike or even driving a car? These are complex behaviours and yet sleepwalkers aren’t aware of what they’re doing and often have no memory of their night-time activities. Neurologist, Dr Guy Leschziner, talks to patients he’s been treating at his sleep clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in London.

Statistics of the year 2017; YouTube and child safety; also, why do people sleepwalk?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Students Vs Gun Laws; Winter Olympic Winners20180301

After a shooting at a high school in Florida killed 17 people student’s across the United States of America have mobilised on social media. They’re calling for change using online organising tools and taking to the streets. The gun control debate is a familiar cycle, powerful forces in favour of keeping existing laws make it difficult for change to be passed and after the first initial shock news agencies often move on. So will the students manage to keep the momentum for change going?

Plus – the trending team look at an app designed to give people anonymous feedback online. It has seen a meteoric rise but in the wake of allegations of teenage bullying its downloads have faltered. The team chat to the CEO who developed the app.

The More or Less team ask who was the most successful nation at the Winter Olympics if you look at the GDP and amount of ski resorts of the countries with the most medals. Also – how many races would you have to watch to witness a dead heat in the two man bobsleigh? It happened at this Olympics, but when might it happen again?

And Shivaani Kohok talks to experts to provide an insight into the different types of bullying and what motivates this behaviour.

(image: Canadians Alexander Kopacz and Justin Kripps and Germans Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis celebrate winning joint-Gold in the 2 man bobsleigh at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.Credit:Tom Pennington/Getty Images.)

The Students leading the gun control debate; Numbers at the Winter Olympics and Bullies

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Sustainable Development Goals \u2013 Are there Just too Many?20161013

Is there a better way for the world to set Sustainable Development Goals?

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Swimming World Records20160818

Why are swimming world records frequently being broken?

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Swimming World Records2016081820160821 (WS)

Why are swimming world records frequently being broken?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The Attention Span of a Goldfish20170316

The attention span of a goldfish; live video streaming player safety; human hands.

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The Concrete Facts About Trump\u2019s Wall and China20170323

How much concrete will it take to build Trump\u2019s wall?

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The Cost of A Wedding Gift20160922

How to work out how much to spend on a wedding gift.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The Death Rate of White Americans20170427

The death rate of white Americans; fake celebrity social media; how words shape us.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The Far Right And Sweden20180208

Why is the far right so obsessed with Sweden? Despite seeming to be unlikely territory with its reputation for progressive social policies, reports about crime and immigration in Sweden routinely go viral on internet chat forums, Facebook and Twitter. And what links do Swedish activists have with the global alt-right?

A key pledge of the Chinese President Xi Jinping is that China will have eradicated poverty by 2020. It’s an extraordinary claim, but China does have a good track record in improving the wealth of its citizens so how does it measure poverty? And is it possible for the government to ensure, over the next few years, that no one falls below its poverty line?

Curing phobias, managing pain, entertainment: hypnotism has a number of tangible benefits. But it can also carry significant risks for the most suggestible people. So why would anyone allow a stranger to access their mind? Nicola Kelly speaks to performers, dentists and therapists who use hypnotism in their work and discovers how the brain functions when in a trance.

(Photo: A woman tends to her niece amid the poor surroundings of her home's kitchen. Credit: Frederic J.Brown/Getty Images

Why is the far right keen on Sweden?

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The Great EU Cabbage Myth; White People And Dreadlocks; The Meaning Of Identity20160407
The Great EU Cabbage Myth; White People And Dreadlocks; The Meaning Of Identity20160407

Could there really be 26,911words of European Union regulation about the sale of cabbage?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The Ignorance Test20170420

The Ignorance Test; fake news from the left; the appeal of the subterranean world

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The Influencer Business20180906

Earlier this year, a baker in Liverpool in north-west England vented her frustration on Twitter over constantly being asked by social media influencers for free cakes. Many other businesses publicly sided with Laura Worthington, but were they being fair? We investigate the impact of influencers – people with powerful social media followings. What are the rules and ethics around advertising and promotion?

What proportion of your country are immigrants? What proportion of teenage girls give birth each year? Research suggests most people get the answers to these questions, and many others about their own countries, very wrong. Tim Harford interviews Bobby Duffy, Global Director of Ipsos Social Research Institute and author of the book, Perils of Perception: Why We’re Wong About Nearly Everything.

Heartbreak after love lost has been written about for generations in literature and in songs. But what causes this physical feeling of pain? Is it a figment of our imagination, prompted by our society and culture, or can we fall sick or even die from a broken heart?

Photo Caption: Influencer Lisa Linh promotes a number of brands – including hotels and credit card companies
Photo Credit: Lisa Linh

The power of social media influencers - what are the rules and ethics around advertising?

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The Life Expectancy of a Pope; How Anonymous Are You; Radio Requests20160421
The Life Expectancy of a Pope; How Anonymous Are You; Radio Requests20160421

Was Pope Francis being too pessimistic when he predicted how much longer he would live?

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The Men Who Hunt Stolen Motorbikes20181018

In Bristol, in the south-west of England, motorbike theft is rife, and criminals use social media to brag about their exploits and even extort money from their victims. But some bikers, sick of losing their treasured possessions, have started to take matters into their own hands. They’ve formed a Facebook group to try to hunt down stolen motorbikes, but will they be successful?

What causes economies to grow and might this growth outstrip our planet’s capacity to sustain it? The new joint winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, have enabled us to edge closer to an answer. Tim Harford joins Ruth Alexander to talk about how these economists’ works have challenged our perceptions of materialism, productivity and climate change.

Why do we keep open Secrets - when everybody knows something is going on but it is never officially acknowledged? Things are left unsaid, remaining in this strange unacknowledged state for decades. So why do some open secrets not come out sooner? Nastaran Tavakoli-Far looks at the Catholic church, the trading floor and to the wrestling ring for some answers.

Photo Credit: BBC

In one city hit by motorbike theft, volunteers are using social media to fight back.

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The Mysterious Wikipedia Editor20180621

Philip Cross has made hundreds of thousands of Wikipedia edits. But in the process he's angered anti-war activists and critics of Western foreign policy, who claim he's biased. So who is “Philip Cross”, the name on the account? We try to track him down.

The data behind all the football World Cups since 1966: Ben Carter talks to author and Opta Sports football statistician Duncan Alexander about how the ‘beautiful game’ has changed…through numbers. Which World Cups have seen the most shots, fouls, dribbles and, most importantly, goals?

And why has football becomes the world’s favourite team sport? Aasmah Mir asks why “soccer” has developed such a huge following, talking to players and fans across the world about the game’s accessibility, simplicity and unpredictability.

(Picture Caption: Screenshot of the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, one of the world’s most popular websites. Picture Credit: Getty)

The mysterious Wikipedia editor \u2013 the man who has angered anti-war activists.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The Past And Future Of Fake News20180125

The past and future of fake news – what can be done about social media misinformation and what impact does it have around the world? Mike Wendling asks a panel of experts from Buzzfeed, the Poynter Institute, and First Draft News.

Economists rely on data to describe what is happening in a country’s economy, such as the unemployment rate, average wages, and the number of people in poverty. But how individuals manage their money gives a different picture. Rachel Schneider, co-author of The Financial Diaries, describes the findings of a large study in the US.

Why do some sleep disorders turn normal dreams into terrifying nightmares and what do they tell us about the workings of the brain? Neurologist, Dr Guy Leschziner, from Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals in London, introduces us to some of his patients with problems that include sleep paralysis and hallucinations and he explores the reasons why we dream.

(Photo: A couple looking at their finances. Credit: Wayhome Studio/Shutterstock)

Fake news; real lives behind economic data, and how dreams turn into nightmares

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The People Who Remove Facebook Posts20181011

They decide what you can and cannot see on the world’s biggest social network. Who are Facebook’s content moderators? We speak to a woman who worked in a moderation centre in Germany, often watching violent and pornographic videos and deciding what posts should be deleted.

New figures reveal that same-sex divorce rates are higher among women than among men. Tim Harford discusses why this may be with Marina Ashdade, economist at the Vancouver School of Economics and author of Dirty Money, a book about the economics of sex and love.

In the age of non-stop tweets, news updates and digital distractions, Sandra Kanthal finds out why, in the age of the 280 character polemic, it could be useful to rediscover the ancient art of rhetoric.

(Photo: Close up of an eye. Credit: Getty Images)

How hard is the job of being a content moderator on Facebook posts?

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The Problem with Antibiotics; Opposition to Afrikaans; the Origins of Life20160303
The Problem with Antibiotics; Opposition to Afrikaans; the Origins of Life20160303

The problems with the antibiotics market, and the opposition to Afrikaans

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The Right Incentive; Promoting Marijuana; the Power of Addiction20160225
The Right Incentive; Promoting Marijuana; the Power of Addiction20160225

More Or Less asks when prize money of \u00a310,000 is not a good incentive

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The Silver Snipers20180705

Five Swedish pensioners, who call themselves the “Silver Snipers”, test their aim at a professional eSports tournament, and try to prove that gaming is for everyone. Not only is gaming a hobby that connects them with their grandchildren’s generation, but it’s also helped them through some tough times in life.

Is it strange that Russian football players ran such big distances during their first two games of the FIFA World Cup? We look at how they compare to other teams and what it might signify. Also –is it just bad luck that Germany has crashed out of the competition?

How do we view our status in society: is it something we can define ourselves or is it always dependent on the opinion of others? In many parts of the world status is something we can change through education, occupation and wealth but what if you come from a culture where the status you are born with is inescapable? Priscilla Ngethe reports.

(Image caption: A team photo of the Silver Snipers / Credit: BBC)

The Silver Snipers: Swedish pensioners test their aim at a professional eSports event

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The Story of Average; The Cartoon Mouse God; Not Just Blind20160414
The Story of Average; The Cartoon Mouse God; Not Just Blind20160414

How astronomers found the average from a group of numbers and defined \u201cthe average man\u201d.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The UK\u2019s Foreign Secretary Gets a Fact Check20170504

The UK\u2019s Foreign Secretary gets a fact check; fashion brands and the hijab; being short

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The World Of Memes20180712

How can memes be engineered to carry political messages? A team at University College, London, has found that some far-right websites and message boards have a disproportionate impact on the memes that spread on mainstream social networks.

The astronomer Carl Sagan famously said that there were more stars in our Universe than grains of sand on the Earth’s beaches. But was it actually true? We try to count the nearly uncountable.

Dividing people into groups is part of our social experience: we build our identities through groups we belong to, and these identities can be numerous and elastic, but what makes us decide who is like us and who is the other? Sandra Kanthal reports.

(Photo: One example of the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme.
Credit: Getty/iStock/BBC)

The world of memes: where they come from and how they spread political messages

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The World Of Memes2018071220180715 (WS)

How can memes be engineered to carry political messages? A team at University College, London, has found that some far-right websites and message boards have a disproportionate impact on the memes that spread on mainstream social networks.

The astronomer Carl Sagan famously said that there were more stars in our Universe than grains of sand on the Earth’s beaches. But was it actually true? We try to count the nearly uncountable.

Dividing people into groups is part of our social experience: we build our identities through groups we belong to, and these identities can be numerous and elastic, but what makes us decide who is like us and who is the other? Sandra Kanthal reports.

(Photo: One example of the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme.
Credit: Getty/iStock/BBC)

The world of memes: where they come from and how they spread political messages

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The World's Most Diverse City, #airbnbwhileblack, Time Perception20160519
The World's Most Diverse City, #airbnbwhileblack, Time Perception20160519

Is it true or false that London is the most diverse city in the world?

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The World's Most Profitable Product; \u201cblessers\u201d - South Africa's Sugar Daddy Problem; Why Are We Afraid Of Robots?20160526
The World's Most Profitable Product; \u201cblessers\u201d - South Africa's Sugar Daddy Problem; Why Are We Afraid Of Robots?20160526

Is it true that the iPhone is the most profitable product in history?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

The YouTube Stars Selling Cheating20180510

An exclusive investigation by BBC Trending looks at the YouTubers who are promoting academic cheating online. More than 250 popular YouTube channels have been paid to advertise Edubirdie, an essay-writing company. Many of the adverts, which collectively have had hundreds of millions of views, urge students to hire a “super smart nerd” to write their essays. It’s not illegal, but students caught handing in other people’s work can face serious consequences. So are the video stars misusing their power to influence and what is YouTube doing about it?

The statistician Hans Rosling used data to explain how the world was changing – and often improving – more than we think and he would challenge people to examine their preconceptions. Before his death, he started working on a book about the mental biases that tend to lead us astray. Tim Harford speaks to his son Ola and daughter in law Anna who worked on the book with him.

Why do people fall victim to online romance frauds? With false online profiles, doctored photographs, and convincing background stories, online fraudsters target people who are looking for love. Once they have hooked their victims, they set about stealing money from them. But what convinces people that their new relationship is so realistic that they become willing to hand over large amounts of money to someone who they may never meet. Shari Vahl reports.

(Photo: Popular YouTuber Adam Saleh has advertised Edubirdie on his channel. Photo credit: Adam Saleh/YouTube)

The YouTube stars promoting cheating by advertising an essay-writing company.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Thyroid cancer in Japan; Migrant worker rights; Belief in the supernatural20160324
Thyroid cancer in Japan; Migrant worker rights; Belief in the supernatural20160324

In More Or Less has thyroid cancer gone up in Japan after the Fukushima accident?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Transgender in the US Military, India\u2019s Midnight Selfies and Eavesdropping20170817

Transgender people in the US Military, India\u2019s midnight selfies and eavesdropping

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Trump Bump, Free Speech, Pull of News20170824

Is America\u2019s economy enjoying a Trump Bump? A fight over free speech and the pull of news

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Trump\u2019s Crime Claims20160929

Is Donald Trump right to claim some US inner cities are more dangerous than Afghanistan?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Undercover With The Alt-right; Debunking Dubious Statistics And Job Interviews20180222

Patrik Hermansson, a Swedish researcher for the British anti-racist group Hope Not Hate, infiltrated far right groups and spent months undercover. His operation now over, he tells his story, including seeing violence and death in Charlottesville, Virginia - the culmination of the ideologies he had witnessed throughout his time with the alt-right.

Can you fit a guide to questioning dubious statistics on the back of a postcard? Tim Harford gives it a try. He wants us to be curious: asking, why do we “like” one stat but not another, who wants us to see it, and – behind the headline – what is it really telling us.

Job interviews are stressful experiences and have mostly been shown by scientists to be ineffective at picking the best candidate. Catherine Carr explores the cultural and psychological bias that flaws them and asks how we might improve the experience both for the interviewee and interviewer.

Undercover with the Alt-Right; how to debunk dubious statistics and job interviews.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

US Millennials\u2019 Political Engagement, Clashes in America and Serial Killers20171026

Are US millennials more politically engaged online? Clashes in America and serial killers

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Virtually Making A Fortune?20180830

Why are people spending real money to buy land that only exists in virtual reality? In the virtual world of Decentraland, users can build whatever they can imagine. Some hope to make a profit by trading goods and services using the social platform’s own cryptocurrency. Could this be the birth of a new virtual economy or a cryptocurrency bubble waiting to burst?

Could computers do a better job than humans at exposing fake news? Tim Harford interviews Mevan Babakar of the fact-checking organisation Fullfact about the software tools she and her team are building to try to automatically verify statistical claims.

Why would you go to the coldest place on Earth? A place mostly devoid of life, where there are rarely more than a few thousand other humans spread out across a landmass twice the size of Australia. Shabnam Grewal reports on Antarctica whose sublime beauty is matched by its capacity to kill you, very fast.

(Photo Credit: Decentraland.org)

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Weapons Of Mass Deception20180607

It is almost a year since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and their allies cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar. BBC Arabic journalist Owen Pinnell reveals how allegations of hacked websites, bot armies and other online dirty tricks have fuelled the ongoing tensions between the two sides.

Fans of Harry Potter have been asking - just how many wizards live among us? We follow a trail of clues in J K Rowling's best-selling books to provide the definitive estimate of the wizarding population.

And why do we believe complete strangers can guide us in improving every aspect of our lives? Mary-Ann Ochota explores whether the self-help industry really makes a difference.

Photo Credit: Reuters

The online dirty tricks and social media bots rupturing relations in the Middle East.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

What happened last night in Sweden?20170302

What happened last night in Sweden; Twitter bots target UK election; why do we stammer?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

What Is #qanon?20180823

#QAnon is part of an online conspiracy theory firing up supporters of Donald Trump. We trace how it started on fringe message boards and has moved more mainstream, including to the floor of a President Trump rally.

A Twitter debate erupted recently about the number of wildfires in the US and in southern Europe, so we take a look at the numbers to see whether they have increased or decreased. As usual, the story is more complicated than it appears.

Psychologists describe the purpose of boredom as trying to get us to do something else: it can spur us on to more meaningful activity or tempt us into dangerous behaviours. Sandra Kanthal talks with researchers who think boredom is anything but boring.

#QAnon \u2013 the online conspiracy theory that is firing up supporters of Donald Trump.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

When a Democrat Met a Republican20180503

When a Democrat Met a Republican: how an innovative project called Better Angels facilitates conversations between people from the left and the right at a time when the ideological divide in America is said to be at its greatest. Anisa Subedar reports.

There are fears in Puerto Rico that the statistics authority is about to lose its independence, as the government has developed a money saving plan to strip it of its independent board. While the Caribbean island recovers from a debt crisis and the devastation of Hurricane Maria, many are questioning whether the move could have damaging implications.

Also, why are we giving away our personal data so cheaply and with so little thought? Aasmah Mir asks if it is too late to secure our information and whether we should charge for it. She talks to a law professor who believes everyone now has sensitive facts or preferences recorded on what he calls a “database of ruin”.

Photo Credit: BBC (Deb Mosby/Tom Chamberlain)

When a Democrat Met a Republican \u2013 a project bridging the political divide.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

When Companies Track Your Life; Tipsters on Trial; Loneliness20160623
When Companies Track Your Life; Tipsters on Trial; Loneliness20160623

How companies use our personal data; tipsters in league with bookies; loneliness

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Who Won the US Presidential Debate?20161006

Polling on the Clinton-Trump TV showdown \u2013 and why not all polls are equal.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Who's Pushing Syria Conspiracies?20180426

As reporting on the ground in Syria becomes increasingly difficult, a disinformation war rages. We reveal a network of influential Twitter accounts, some with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, which push conspiracy theories. Plus, against a backdrop of rising knife attacks in the UK, have social networks changed the nature of street violence?

Understanding the way we think about our finances can help us to spend more carefully and save more efficiently, says economist Dan Ariely. Tim Harford talks to him about the psychology of money. Plus Dan has an idea for ending arguments over sharing a restaurant bill.

Why in the USA are people who are least likely to be victims of gun violence the most likely to carry guns? Aasmah Mir talks to people getting their gun licence to try and untangle what lies behind their anxieties.

Picture Caption: Profile picture of Sarah Abdallah, part of a network of pro-Syrian government accounts identified by the social media research company Graphika Picture Credit: Twitter/@sahouraxo

The influential Twitter accounts which are pushing Syria conspiracy theories.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Why are Hollywood Actresses Paid Less than Men?20170309

Why are Hollywood actresses paid less than men? Sweden\u2019s troll factory; and how to listen

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Why January Makes us Want to Scream20170126

Is the third Monday in January really the day people feel saddest?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Will One in Four People Develop a Mental Health Problem?20170406

Where is this figure from and what\u2019s the evidence for it?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

World Cup Social Media Extravaganza20180719

A recap of the social media trends of the 2018 World Cup: how did the “beautiful game” dominate online chatter across the globe.

Should we have smaller families to save the planet? We examine the claim that having children is the worst thing you can do for the environment.
Caz Graham asks why people go to their school reunion, finding for some it’s the importance of being able to recount what has happened in their lives to those who were their first friends.

(Image: A French fan celebrates.Credit: Getty Images)

A recap of the big social media trends of the World Cup: what dominated where, online.

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.

Yellow cards for Christmas?20161222

Are footballers deliberately getting suspended to get a break over the festive period?

Brings together in a single hour The Why Factor; More or Less and Trending.