Bebo to relaunch with fewer pics of crudely-drawn penises

Did AOL balls it up for good?

Last month Michael Birch, the founder of social network Bebo, used some of the $850m he made from selling the site in 2008 to buy back the site. After five years in the management of its new owners, AOL, it was worth just $1m.

When the sale was made, James Evans looked for five ways the site could make a comeback. But Birch seems to have a different plan: shut the site and start again. The New Bebo doesn't yet exist, but what we do know is that it's getting rid of one of the biggest resources old Bebo laid claim to. The vast repository of crudely drawn pictures of cocks-and-balls is no more. Birch explains:

Bebo. Photo: Getty

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

Show Hide image

En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.