It must be about 15 years since I was standing on a boat in Los Angeles at a press party, talking to a computer executive from the States. I don't remember his name; he'd had a couple of drinks by that time and there were a few people from the European press around.

"We operate in Europe," he said. "Including England, Wales...oh, whatever you think is a country over there." Many of us were, I think, understandably offended. I mean, we get it: America is big, you have lakes bigger than London, we really, really understand the point. I can't remember who it was that said 200 miles is a long way to a Brit and 200 years is a long time to a Yank, but they got it too. A few years later I had a fallout with someone on the Net who assumed being Irish was the same thing as being Scottish. When I pointed out that half of the Irish people weren't actually classified as British I got the response 'Why should I care, it's the same thing! Nobody in New York cares about your stupid country!'

This was probably substantially true, and actually very few people in the UK are dim enough to assume any major influence over a world power like the US. Frankly since the Empire dissolved leaving such a mess behind it we've accepted our status as a small island.

It's disappointing, though, to find that companies as significant as Facebook are still making the same mistake and listing Cardiff (which is in Wales) as being in England. It simply isn't, and it's no use blaming a technical bug - this information has been put in by a human being at some stage or it wouldn't have been there.

Honestly, we get it. We're small, and we have no particular right to assume anyone has any specialist knowledge of our geography, currency or demographics unless they plan to visit or do business here. But given that Facebook and others are indeed doing business here a little research in advance, or talking to some local people, could avoid a lot of awkwardness.

P. S. This is all getting slightly reminiscent of AOL's debut in the UK in 1995. Does anyone else remember the difficulties it had accepting the names of one of our towns? If you lived in Scunthorpe it rejected you - it had no problem with the first letter of your town but it flagged the next four as obscene, and before they fixed the bug everyone from that part of the world had to register that they lived in 'Sconthorpe'!

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I can't forget that because I didn't know. Thanks.

Maybe that 5956 excludes BBC employees?

It sometimes not good to hear that there are things happen differentiation based on demographics.I lived in southeast asia and i heard a lot of racial discrimination which is supposed to be not.

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