The BBC has admitted that it broke its own guidelines by letting hundreds of viewer comments in Arabic that praised terrorism and minimised the Holocaust stay on its social media pages without moderation.
Since March 2022, the BBC allowed 27 social media posts about Palestinian terrorists killing Israeli civilians, as well as others about the comments made by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in which he claimed that Hitler had “Jewish origins”.
The news watchdog CAMERA Arabic translated hundreds of inflammatory comments, one of which said that “Killing Jews is one of the most desirable offerings for Allah,” while another wrote: “If these heroes continue with an operation even once a week, there will not be a virus called ‘the Jews of Israel’ left anymore.”
After an attack in Beersheba in which four people were killed and two were injured in a stabbing and vehicle-ramming attack, one comment lamented that “we all want more but four are better than nothing. May Allah increase the number of their dead.”
These comments were left unmoderated on the BBC’s Facebook page until this week, following a complaint from the JC. The BBC conceded that the comments were “offensive and inappropriate”.
Other comments on posts about the wave of terrorist attacks in Israel earlier this year said “Killing the occupier is a religious obligation, “Our Lord destroys the Jews”, and “Five corpses dropped dead, their existence was damaging planet Earth”.
Another said “Excellent, no Israeli should enjoy safety, they must live in constant horror and fear.”
After Mr Lavrov claimed that Hitler had Jewish ancestry, BBC Arabic published a video on the matter, unleashing a wave of comments. They included: “The next Holocaust will be in Palestine, bigger and more total with Allah’s help” and “The real Holocaust has not happened yet, it will soon with Allah almighty’s will”.
Finally, one user said that “the lie of the Holocaust is the excuse used to create the usurper Zionist entity on Palestine’s land.”
Professor Lesley Klaff from Sheffield Hallam University said that “Because those comments are on these social media platforms it gives a message that it’s acceptable discourse and that it’s an acceptable narrative to call for the murder of Jews or to deny the Holocaust.”
A Twitter spokesperson said: “Antisemitism has no place on Twitter. We have removed the majority of the tweets referenced for violations of our Hateful Conduct policy and Glorification of Violence policy. We will continue to take action when we identify any Tweets or accounts that violate the Twitter rules.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2021 showed that almost eight in ten British Jews consider the threat from Islamists to be very serious.