The December 9th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘World Have Your Say’ came from Brussels, where presenter Rabiya Limbada met with members of Belgium’s Jewish community. The programme (available for a limited period of time here) is titled “Is anti-semitism on the rise in Europe?” and its synopsis states:
“World Have Your Say is live in Belgium’s captial [sic] Brussels looking at anti-Semitism in Europe. Is it on the rise? If it is, what’s causing it?”
The first half of the programme was devoted mostly to the topic of the personal experiences of members of the panel whilst the second part addressed the issue of the causes of rising antisemitism in Europe. Among the factors identified were the conflation of Jews and Israelis (blaming European Jews for perceived Israeli wrongdoings), the demonization of Jews and the rise of hate speech on the internet.
As usual, the programme’s host invited listeners to comment on the topic under discussion on the WHYS Facebook wall. Given the subject matter, one might perhaps have expected that a particular effort would have been made this time around to avoid the appearance of antisemitic comments, defamation, demonisation and hate speech – as has been the case on that programme’s Facebook wall (as well as other BBC discussion boards) in the past.
Here are some examples of comments left standing after moderation.
As we remarked here only a month ago in connection with the same programme:
“The BBC’s casual acceptance of antisemitic comments on the public discussion boards intended to meet its remit to “[e]nable individuals to participate in the global debate on significant international issues” is an increasingly worrying aspect of the corporation’s interpretation of that particular “public purpose” as defined in its constitutional document.”
Clearly the BBC’s moderation mechanism is not fit for purpose. So far, it is not apparent that any action is being taken by the BBC on this issue.