Listen up, folks, a few words from the management!
Biased-BBC was created as a forum to highlight and discuss BBC bias. That is the sole focus. Anyone seeking to post any thought in their head can start their own blog. You have a right to your opinion, but you have no right to force association with it on others, nor do you have a right to call for violence on this blog.
While anger about a given situation or issue is understandable, calls for violence are beyond the pale, and have no place on a blog with a specific purpose, as this one has. Furthermore, nobody has a right not to be criticized. If you don’t like being told your comment is out of line, go elsewhere. The internet is a vast space, plenty of room for you to say whatever your like out there.
The blog owners are ultimately legally responsible for comments. Nobody has a right to post comments expressing controversial opinions and not expect to experience any consequences. We must all consider the consequences of our speech, and how it affects others. Additionally, there have been instances where someone has taken specific, over-the-top comments and tried to use them as evidence with the intent of causing trouble for owners and authors in their personal and professional lives. Again, the purpose of this blog is not simply to express right-wing opinion, or political or ideological opinions of any kind, on their own, in a vacuum. This blog is meant to be a forum to highlight, discuss, and expose political and ideological bias at the BBC, rants about Islam and other bogeymen serve no purpose other than to provide fodder for our critics, enabling them to avoid addressing issues of BBC bias and focus on personal attacks to discredit the blog, and to distract us from our original purpose. Granted, nearly all complaints about BBC bias will be from a rightward perspective, and some topics will inevitably lead to, hopefully reasonable discussions about issues and policies and the related bigger picture. However, it must be seen in that context for it to be effective. This doesn’t mean all opinions are wrong – it means only that this is not the place for general expression of those opinions without them being somehow part of the ongoing discussion of bias at the BBC.
If you’re not interested in discussing and detailing bias in the BBC’s output, and are interested primarily in expressing why you dislike a religion or political party or ethnic group, this is not the blog for you.
We understand, of course, that events drive much of the discussion, which is perfectly reasonable. But it can get out of hand, and mar the quality of the surrounding discussion. There is also too much overheated speech in debates amongst commenters, which often devolves into personal attacks, and actual discussion of the original issue is then abandoned. Thread after thread gets hijacked. This also serves as a distraction from the purpose of the blog, as critics can then cite a laundry list of personal points over and over again, instead of having to debate the issues at hand. We have many long-time readers who come here to consider discussions of biased BBC broadcasting, and get tired of having to scroll past a stream of unrelated schoolyard shouting matches. We must always consider readers’ needs as well as our own. In fact, the former just might be more important if we’re to resume being effective critics of the BBC. If one of the usual suspects chimes in with an insult, we should take the high road and not give it back. That’s the only way to disarm the tu quoque argument they usually give. Again, if this displeases, there are other places on the internet for you to enjoy yourself.
Going forward, seriously offensive comments will be removed. We don’t have the resources of the BBC and so cannot be all-vigilant and omnipresent, which means that comments may slip through the cracks and be left up for some time. This is not an indication of condoning. People are welcome to flag up calls for violence or other extreme comments that stay up for more than 24 hours. In those cases, deletion becomes problematic since any nested replies will have to go at the same time.
On occasion, one of the blog owners may insert an editorial remark into a troublesome comment, in the hopes of encouraging the commenter to try a different approach. We’re all guilty of overreacting at times, and it’s not meant to be personal. We must think of the blog as a whole, and our ultimate purpose. In that sense, we should consider the common goal here, rather than ideological fracturing. The blog has at times encouraged and empowered individuals to write complaints to the BBC which have actually had positive effects. That’s the benefit of the kind of community, crowd-sourcing approach that has always been one of this blog’s greatest strengths, and long may it continue. Hopefully, any gentle criticisms will be taken in that light.
This blog thrives when its readers participate in pointing out where the BBC got something wrong, engages in discussion about topics raised, and giving constructive criticism on how to improve. Much of the best content of this blog comes from you, our readers and your comments, and we all learn from each other. But the ultimate goal must be the same if we are to succeed.
Hope you will accept the above as we seek to keep the blog alive and kicking…