The ‘House Rules’ for BBC blogs include the following:
“Comments on our blogs are checked by a team of trained moderators to make the blogs a safe and enjoyable place to be, and ensure that they meet the House Rules. […]
The blog author or host does not usually moderate the content of the boards, although it is their job to keep the discussions relevant to the topic and within the BBC’s guidelines. They may close off-topic or other rule-breaking discussions, and sometimes make a decision on comments that have been referred to them by the moderators. They may also alert the moderators to rule-breaking comments that they see in the course of their work.”
“At the BBC, we allow as much freedom as possible to have relevant discussions on our blogs. However, we are also responsible for making sure that these discussions stay polite, safe and relevant and do not violate any laws or the BBC editorial policies. This is why we have a set of House Rules that we ask everyone to follow. Moderators only remove messages that break these House Rules.
Moderation is necessary so all users can participate in online communities without fear of intimidation by other users or being subjected to offensive content.”
Hot on the heels of its previously published article in which the manager of New York’s Metropolitan Opera was given an unchallenged platform from which to defend his presentation of ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’, the BBC’s ‘Echo Chambers’ blog ran a piece by Anthony Zurcher titled “Free speech, ‘psychological rape’ and the Death of Klinghoffer” on October 23rd.
The item was opened to comments and some of them – which have passed moderation and hence can be assumed to have been judged as not breaching ‘House Rules’ (which include defamation) or “BBC editorial policies” (which include accuracy), “relevant to the topic” and not “offensive” – can be seen below.
The ‘ethnic cleansing’ canard passed BBC moderation:
The false description of a military operation against terrorism as ‘terrorism’ was also allowed:
The antisemitic ‘Jews controlling the media’ trope passed BBC moderation:
The antisemitic act of holding Jews responsible for (falsely described) Israeli actions was deemed within ‘house rules’:
As was the false claim that any criticism of Israel is branded antisemitism:
The inaccurate claim that all the casualties in this summer’s conflict were ‘innocent’ is promoted:
Of course this is far from the first time that the moderation of comments on BBC blogs and articles has been unsatisfactory and failed to adhere to the BBC’s own rules.