The BBC Trust’s interpretation of one of its public purposes as laid down in the corporation’s Royal Charter makes it a priority for the BBC to “enable individuals to participate in the global debate on significant international issues”.
BBC Trust: “The BBC should inform conversation and debate, providing forums where its international audiences can debate issues they find important.”
One means of meeting that goal is the BBC World Service radio programme ‘World Have Your Say” which also runs its own Facebook page. As we have sadly had occasion to note here before (see related articles below), despite the existence of ‘house rules’ applicable to that discussion board and despite the use of moderators, it is not unusual to find offensive comments on the WHYS Facebook wall.
On January 13th WHYS Facebook invited the general public to comment on the topic of the post-attack edition of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Clearly the decision to open that topic to discussion would necessitate particularly stringent and effective moderation. Nevertheless, among the hundreds of comments left on that BBC discussion board were more than a few threatening and inciting violence and others promoting malicious conspiracy theories, defamation and other offensive content.
A few examples are shown below.
Once again we see that the BBC is failing to make any serious attempt to address this issue.