Here are the BBC’s house rules for its ‘Have Your Say’ comments boards. They include the following:
“No defamatory comments. A defamatory comment is one that is capable of damaging the reputation of a person or organisation. If successfully sued you could be held liable for considerable damages and costs.”
“Do not incite people to commit any crime, including incitement of racial hatred.”
“Do not post messages that are unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, homophobic or racially offensive.”
Here is a page (still available on the internet) from the BBC World ‘Have Your Say’ programme’s Facebook account which invites the public to comment under the heading “We’re live speaking to a cross-section of people in Israel, including the settler community. What would you like to ask them?“. The solicited responses – which have remained in public view since December 2012 – include those below.
The BBC’s editorial guidelines on “Moderation, Hosting, Escalation and User Management” state that:
“There must be a named individual in the relevant Division to take responsibility for user contributions, just as for BBC content. They should ensure that the space maintains appropriate overall standards of moderation, hosting and user management. “
“Every online space where user contributions are published must be moderated to remove illegal and inappropriate content, it must have appropriate user management, and it should normally have a host to provide a visible and active presence.”
Clearly the system defined in that guidance is not working sufficiently well if antisemitic Nazi analogies and defamatory ‘apartheid’ slurs remain on a BBC message board for over a year.