I’m delighted that the BBC demands staff don’t “virtue signal” — they can now cancel Comic Relief
|Mic Wright||Oct 30, 2020||1|
Children In Need? Nah, mate. That’s virtue signalling. And where’s the balance? Rename it ‘Are Children In Need Or Should Their Parents Simply Have Used Contraception?’ and we can have a chat about it…
That should be the logical consequence of the BBC’s new social media guidelines which include a ban on ‘virtue signalling’ — a right-wing term that means ‘supporting causes or charities that I personally don’t like’. But it won’t.
And the BBC has already made a political choice about what causes it deems acceptable and it all comes down to the Poppy.
The guidelines explicitly discuss the Poppy appeal and BBC reporters support of it:
“The BBC’s editorial standards nevertheless allow staff to wear poppies on-screen if they choose between from Saturday 31 October to Wednesday 11 November.”
“If they choose” are weasel words as BBC executives know that any reporter, presenter, or newsreader who appeared on TV without a Poppy would be immediately castigated by the tabloids. In fact, the BBC is so frightened of being insufficiently patriotic onscreen that the Cookie Monster appeared on The One Show with a Poppy pinned on his bright blue pelt.
Another ridiculous detail in the guidelines refers to emoji saying that they can “undercut an otherwise impartial post” — and has already been mocked by top newsreader Huw Edwards on Twitter.
(☝ Those are Welsh flags btw — they might not show up properly)
The rules go further by stating that liking or following certain accounts can be enough to count as sharing a personal opinion on an issue. That point shows utter ignorance of how Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram work, and also how monitoring and reporting on issues online works.
The BBC also says all employees must now treat their personal accounts as if they are a form of output from the corporation. So you now have a choice — maintain a right to free speech and to support causes beyond the milquetoast establishment confections supported by the executive class at the BBC. So it’s Red Nose Day, Sports Relief and Children In Need — YES! but NO to trans rights (too controversial) and being friends with people on the Left will be career-limiting or threaten your job.
The BBC guidelines define ‘virtue signalling’ as “retweets, likes, or joining online campaigns to indicate a personal view, no matter how apparently worthy the cause.”
If these guidelines were serious and the executives drawing them up intended to impose them fairly the onscreen charity appeals would be over and political editors and presenters who follow and interact publicly with right-wing activists would be as chastised as those with left-wing views.
But they won’t be, because these guidelines are designed by former Tory party council candidate and now BBC Director-General, Tim Davie, to mollify the government and satisfy the Daily Mail, a rapacious beast which will never be satisfied.
One guideline I agree with is that BBC staff should not break news on their personal accounts. The guidance reads: “If you have a story to break, the BBC platforms are your priority, even if it takes slightly longer.” But will that happen? Nope! It will be imposed on more junior reporters but so-called big beasts like Laura Kuenssberg will continue doing what they’ve always done — blasting out info on Twitter like that elephant that did a shit on the Blue Peter studio floor.
The guidelines go on and on, but can all be boiled down to a requirement to fully subsume yourself into Borg-like conformity within the BBC unless you’re famous enough and friendly enough with the Tory Party to keep backing the causes you like and making your biases clear with every character your type and syllable that you utter on TV or radio.
That the BBC’s official stance is now that disclaimers in Twitter bios that say things like “my views, not the BBC’s” are meaningless. If you work for the BBC, it and the cursed licence payers own your every word.
The BBC is the Borg now. You will be assimilated and, in return, you’ll still get kicked around like a cheap football by The Sun and The Daily Mail.
Still, I’m sure the BBC Complaints Department are looking forward to the hundreds of complaints I’m going to submit — one for every time I see someone wearing a Poppy on screen. Not that I object to the Poppy Appeal, it’s just that I’ve read the BBC guidelines and I want to make sure they stick to them.
I’m sure the Cookie Monster agrees with me.
No, Cookie Monster, I’m afraid these guidelines say you can’t express a biscuit preference as it might upset the Daily Mail.
“… other biscuit available.”