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May 02, 2005

BBC Moderator Bias


BBC apparently displays bias not only in its reporting but in moderating its Messageboard. Melanie Phillips points out BBC's double standard in moderating messages about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A curious Messageboard reader tested the moderator. Noticing references to Israel as an "apartheid state" that practices "ethnic cleansing", he posted messages referring to "apartheid-seeking, racist Palestinians". While the derogatory messages about Israel were allowed to stand, the messages referring to the Palestinians were immediately removed.

This seemed to be a clear case of double standards. The moderator allowed the same generalisation about ‘Israelis’ as he had disallowed about ‘Palestinians’. In reply, the moderator said the following;

The distinction here lies between one post referring to a state (ie.
it's government and their policies) and another referring to a
population. If a user wishes to argue that Israel is a racist state based its government's policies, whether you agree with this opinion or not it is legitimate point for debate. To refer to Israelis as racists is a huge generalisation that cannot be justified and is likely to cause great offence to other messageboard users. As such, posts of this nature will be removed from the messageboards.

But as Ms. Phillips points out:

...While it is demonstrably true that the Palestinians are not yet a recognised state, it is demonstrably untrue that they do not have a state apparatus.

And this "state aparatus" is instrumental in promoting violence through PA-controlled media, religious exhortations by imams, schools, summer camps, etc.

In any event, the BBC moderator appears to have disregarded his own rules. The following post was subsequently allowed:

‘It is easy to play the victim, while the zionists are the victimizers. Israel has to leave the Palestinian territories right now, as Syria did in Lebanon. What goes around comes around!’

While the following post was removed:

‘It’s easy to be concerned when Islamists are the Terrorisers’.

Posted by RH at May 2, 2005 05:12 PM