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Tragedy is no laughing matter.

Byline: Pete Price

ALL these emails and text gags flying around about Gary Glitter (and I'm sorry to talk about him again but I want to make a serious point).

Surely the people that send these texts after reading them are as bad as him?

After all, they are just getting a cheap laugh out of the misery of a child's life being destroyed by a paedophile.

I have a theory about text gags. I believe there are offices where members of staff write them and put them out to the general public. Human nature makes people pass them on and this generates huge revenues for telephone companies.

I mentioned this on my show and then got a couple of emails from people who claim to know about this - one in particular reckons 75% of text jokes are actually sent by mobile phone networks to high-user customers knowing that they will pass them on, thus making a lot of money.

The emailer said that these companies have people in their marketing departments scouring the newspapers and the internet for stories that can be converted into gags.

I have no evidence this is the case, but this is how it works, according to my source, who said: "Four people would sit in front of a computer searching for stories and jokes. They would find a funny joke, edit it down into a few words, and pass it on to the bosses to review and approve.

These jokes would then be sent on to 50,000 high text users in the hope they would be sent on to other users to increase revenue.

"To be fair, some of them were very funny but one day when I was working the news broke about the bombings in London. Staff tuned into the TV news as it was happening and started writing gags straight away about the events they were seeing.

"These gags, once again, were sent to the boss for approval. Within 24 hours, 200,000 texts had been sent to high text users.

"We believe pounds 1.5m was made from these bomb texts alone.

"I left the day after Jeremy Beadle died in January; the things they wrote about him were outrageously evil. I worked for another company for a short time and they were no better."
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2008
Words:386
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