Sunday 31 May 2015

You Can't Call Me 'Mo'

Among them I spotted someone complaining about having their comment 'moderated' off a BBC thread (on an article by Dominic Casciani entitled Analysis: Can extremism plan work?). 

Here's how the BBC describes what happened:
The complainant had posted several comments on the article. During a thread which was discussing Islamic State (IS), the complainant had posted a reference to a verse from Sahih Bukhari, a collection of sayings and deeds of Prophet Mohammed:
“Check your facts. Islam does allow killing of anyone who ‘offends’ - “ - “Book 53 verse 271. The IS are simply doing what Islam tells them to.”
Another commenter had responded:
“As any Muslim or non-Muslim scholar who studied Islam knows, there are different interpretations of that verse.”
In response to this thread, the complainant had posted a further comment in which he abbreviated the name Mohammed and said he had authorised killing.
This comment by the complainant had been removed by the moderator.
The complainant then duly complained. And this is what happened next:
The Central Communities Team responded on 30 October rejecting the appeal and saying that the comment had been removed because abbreviating the name of the Prophet Mohammed is potentially offensive to some people. They also said that the comment was off topic for the article. 
The complainant took it further, but the BBC was still having none of it:
The Adviser then noted the response from the BBC Social Media Complaints Group which had drawn a distinction between using the abbreviated form of Mohammed and using it to describe others who share the same name and agreed that it:
“…was indeed likely to cause offence to some users of the site and a breach of our House Rules. The suggestion that referring to others who share the name Mohammed in this way would not cause offence was not considered to be a comparable analogy.”
On appeal to the BBC Trust, the trustees agreed with the BBC Social Media Complaints Group:
Trustees considered this was a reasonable interpretation of the House Rules for BBC message boards regarding offensive comments, and Trustees noted that the BBC had reserved the right to fail comments which breached house rules.
And that's when things were brought to a full stop.

The moral of this story is that if you call The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) 'Mo' on a BBC comments thread about Muslim extremism you are highly likely to be 'moderated' off the page. 

And the BBC will not back you up however much you complain about it.

1 comment:

  1. Not for the faint of heart or short of time, but these epic struggles can be well worth the read. If depressing reading (like the labours of Sisyphus) should common sense and integrity in actually addressing failings be the aim of any seeking to improve the BBC's offering.

    Look at this example.

    Clearly Mo is a red flag at the BBC, and this was never going to fly, so the full contents of the 'Beware of the Leopard' file gets hauled out to burn and crash it no matter what. J-man & the Big-Bud must be sharing a giggle at it all.

    That the BBC still po-faced trots out how a BBC employee thought a BBC employee thought a BBC employee got it about right comprises an (expensive) investigation and finding of value still, is one of life's mysteries.


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