BBC Monitoring uses Sykes-Picot anniversary to promote conspiracy theory

The 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement this week produced a rash of journalistic commentary, much of which succumbed to the fashion of lazily blaming that agreement for the Middle East’s contemporary ills.

That trend was not however confined to Western commentators and BBC Monitoring produced a report titled “Sykes-Picot marked with bitterness and regret by Arab media” which appeared on the BBC News website on May 16th.

Not for the first time, readers found BBC Monitoring using its platform for the amplification of baseless conspiracy theory.

BBC monitoring Sykes Picot

One of course presumes that before deciding that the above comment was worthy of translation and amplification to audiences worldwide, BBC Monitoring exercised due diligence and took the time to check out that Twitter feed. If so, then it would have realised that the so-called ‘Pencil192’ has something of a pathological obsession with ‘Zionists’.

pencil tweet 5 promoted

Pencil tweet 1

pencil tweet 2

pencil tweet 3

pencil tweet 4

Whilst that may not be much of a surprise coming from a social media user who appears to be a Baathist history buff and Saddam Hussein fan, what should raise eyebrows is the fact that BBC Monitoring apparently believes that the amplification of unchallenged conspiracy theories from an obscure social media account in some way contributes to meeting the corporation’s remit to “[b]uild a global understanding of international issues”.

2 comments on “BBC Monitoring uses Sykes-Picot anniversary to promote conspiracy theory

  1. Sykes-Picot was the dividing up of the former Ottoman Empire, that is all, in the case of Palestine it was not a disaster, as was the handover of large chunks of Arabia to the Hashemite family of despots. The agreement made the mistake of combining three disparate nations into one – Iraq – which sowed the seeds of contention for years to come, including the enthusiastic Ba’athist espousal of Nazism, “Official Pencil” being an illustration of how this delusion persists today. As usual, the Arabs cannot make peace with each other, the Arab infighting will last for years to come. In the case of Palestine, all the agreement did was to allocate this section of the former Ottoman Province of Syria-Palestine to the British. Syria was handed over to the French and subsequently fell under the Pétain pro-Nazi government. The large Jewish population of Palestine at the time were fortunate that the Sykes-Picot agreement did not allocate Palestine and Transjordan to France.

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