Russia accuses BBC of spreading ‘terrorist’ ideologies

The BBC said in a statement sent to AFP that it “fully complies with the legislation and regulations of every country” in which it operates. (SPA)
Updated 11 January 2019

Russia accuses BBC of spreading ‘terrorist’ ideologies

  • The BBC said in a statement sent to AFP that it “fully complies with the legislation and regulations of every country” in which it operates

MOSCOW: Russia’s media watchdog accused the BBC Thursday of spreading the ideologies of “terrorist groups” via online publications of its Russian service, the latest in a tit-for-tat row over media impartiality.
Roskomnadzor, the state communications and media watchdog, said it would investigate whether the BBC was breaking the law.
This was the latest volley in a wave of rhetoric against the BBC, after Britain’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom last year said the Moscow-funded RT channel had broken broadcasting standards.
“Currently we have discovered materials which transmit the ideologies of international terrorist groups (quotes of terrorist Al-Baghdadi)” on the BBC’s Russian language website, Roskomnadzor said in a statement.
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is the leader of the Islamic state jihadist group, also known as Daesh.
Russian law does not forbid quoting individuals considered “terrorists,” however any mention of such outlawed groups has to come with the disclaimer that the group is banned in Russia.
The watchdog said it would probe whether material broadcast by the BBC “corresponds with Russian anti-extremism legislation.”
The BBC said in a statement sent to AFP that it “fully complies with the legislation and regulations of every country” in which it operates.
The Russian statement did not cite any specific articles or dates.
Roskomnadzor also said it had requested documents from the BBC’s Russian services to investigate whether it was breaking a new law limiting foreign ownership of Russian media.
BBC’s Russian service is limited to the Internet, but it has expanded in recent years and has many top reporters on the team dealing with often sensitive political subjects.
Britain’s Ofcom said in December it had found violations of impartiality rules in seven of RT’s shows broadcast after the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
The statement was not followed by any sanctions.
Moscow said at the time that any proceedings against the BBC were a “mirror measure” for Britain’s “constant propaganda against RT,” a state-owned channel.


Facebook’s Zuckerberg promises a review of content policies after backlash

Updated 06 June 2020

Facebook’s Zuckerberg promises a review of content policies after backlash

  • Trump's message contained the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts"

WASHINGTON: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday said he would consider changes to the policy that led the company to leave up controversial posts by President Donald Trump during recent demonstrations protesting the death of an unarmed black man while in police custody, a partial concession to critics.
Zuckerberg did not promise specific policy changes in a Facebook post, days after staff members walked off the job, some claiming he kept finding new excuses not to challenge Trump.
"I know many of you think we should have labeled the President's posts in some way last week," Zuckerberg wrote, referring to his decision not to remove Trump's message containing the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
"We're going to review our policies allowing discussion and threats of state use of force to see if there are any amendments we should adopt," he wrote. "We're going to review potential options for handling violating or partially-violating content aside from the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions."
Zuckerberg said Facebook would be more transparent about its decision-making on whether to take down posts, review policies on posts that could cause voter suppression and would look to build software to advance racial justice, led by important lieutenants.
At a staff meeting earlier this week, employees questioned Zuckerberg's stance on Trump's post.
Zuckerberg, who holds a controlling stake in Facebook, has maintained that while he found Trump's comments "deeply offensive," they did not violate company policy against incitements to violence.
Facebook's policy is either to take down a post or leave it up, without any other options. Now, Zuckerberg said, other possibilities would be considered.
However, he added, "I worry that this approach has a risk of leading us to editorialize on content we don't like even if it doesn't violate our policies."