BBC reports on 2015 internet ‘falsehoods’ – but not its own

Promoted using the heading “Fakes and Falsehoods” and with the sub-heading “Eight ways the internet lied to you in 2015”, the BBC News website published an article on December 27th similarly titled  “How the internet misled you in 2015” which opens with the words “it was another busy year for journalists debunking fake or misleading images on social media.”Internet fakes art

It was also another busy year for those “debunking” inaccurate and misleading content on the BBC News website and on the corporation’s additional platforms. Here (in no particular order) are a few examples of some of the ways in which the BBC misled its audiences in 2015.

1) In September the corporation’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen repeatedly told audiences that refugees fleeing Syria were doing so because of ISIS and whitewashed the Assad regime’s attacks on its own civilians.

BBC News’ migrant crisis coverage: Bowen embeds with Assad

More BBC Bowen beating of the Assad regime drum

More BBC amplification of the ‘ISIS worse than Assad’ meme

2) In March the BBC told its audiences that the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran brought “plenty of positive side-effects” for women in that country.

How the BBC whitewashed the issue of women’s rights in Iran

3) In July the BBC’s Razia Iqbal told audiences that Iran does not threaten Israel.  

No wonder BBC WS presenter Razia Iqbal got Iranian threat to Israel wrong

BBC ECU upholds complaint concerning Iranian threats to Israel

4) In August the BBC told audiences that “Israel has used administrative detention against Palestinians but not against Jewish suspects.”

BBC News misleads audiences on administrative detention

BBC News website corrects inaccurate administrative detention claim

BBC responses to complaints on accuracy failures

5) In April the BBC News website told audiences that Israeli forces had fired 88 mortar rounds at a school in the Gaza Strip in 2014.

BBC article on UN Gaza report includes inaccurate representation of its content

BBC amends inaccurate claim on Gaza mortar fire

6) In August the BBC told audiences that Jerusalem has a “secular majority” and, in October, that the city is not Israel’s capital.

The figures behind the BBC’s claim of a ‘secular majority’ in Jerusalem

BBC News website corrects Jerusalem “secular majority” claim

BBC News gets Israel’s capital city right – and then ‘corrects’

7) In September and October the BBC repeatedly misrepresented Temple Mount by describing it as “the Al Aqsa Mosque” and “a Muslim site”. Audiences were even misled by BBC Arabic’s Nawal Assad on the issue of the status quo regarding prayer at the site.

A worldwide platform for incitement from BBC Arabic’s Nawal Assad

Disturbing themes in BBC coverage of the wave of terror in Israel

More conspiracy theory amplification from BBC’s Yolande Knell – and why it matters

8) In July the BBC told us that terror attacks in Israel are “not comparable” to terror attacks in Tunisia or Kuwait and that the stories are “very different”.

The BBC, terrorism and ‘consistency’

BBC Complaints: terror attacks in Jerusalem and Tunisia are “very different”

9) In June the BBC yet again misled audiences with regard to the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip and reports produced throughout the year continued to mislead on the issue of why reconstruction there is so slow.  

BBC’s English and Arabic flotilla reports promote inaccurate information

BBC News website corrects Gaza Strip naval blockade inaccuracy

A side to the Gaza reconstruction story the BBC isn’t telling

Yolande Knell’s political campaigning continues in BBC ‘Gaza anniversary’ coverage

10) Also in June, the BBC told audiences that the first suicide bombing carried out by a British citizen abroad took place in 2014. 

BBC News inaccurately claims first suicide bombing abroad by a British citizen was in 2014

BBC News website corrects ‘first British suicide bomber’ claim

Readers are invited to add other examples to the list in the comments below. 

 

 

 

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Top BBC Watch posts of 2015

Over the past twelve months BBC Watch has welcomed nearly a quarter of a million visits to the site and this is an ideal opportunity to thank you – our readers – for your interest and support throughout the past year.

We would also like to thank all those who have taken the trouble to contact us with feedback, updates on your complaints to the BBC and tips concerning items of BBC content. Your contributions are invaluable – please carry on in the coming year.

The most read article on BBC Watch in 2015 was ‘BBC’s Tim Willcox in Paris: a new low and follow-up to that story also featured among the top ten most viewed posts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the second most visited page on our website in 2015 was our guide on How to Complain to the BBC.Pigua Lions Gate art vers 1

The third most read post of 2015 related to the miserable headline used by the BBC in its report on the terror attack at Lions Gate in Jerusalem in October – ‘BBC News flunks headline of report on Jerusalem terror attack‘ – and additional posts concerning BBC reporting on terrorism against Israelis were also among the most viewed articles together with our monthly statistical round-up of BBC reporting on terror and a post titled ‘BBC News tells audiences Israeli fears of terror attacks are ‘paranoia’‘ which discusses an October 2015 article by Kevin Connolly.

Our most viewed posts of 2015 also included ‘BBC’s Doucet explains why Yemen gets less coverage than Gaza‘ and ‘More soft focus BBC presentation of Hizballah‘.

Wishing all our readers a happy, healthy and peaceful 2016.