‘Sick of media lies’: Thousands protest state broadcaster bias in #BBCswitchoff
A viral campaign calling out the BBC for alleged media bias and a lack of impartiality whipped up a huge Twitterstorm as citizens recounted examples of the state broadcaster’s prejudice under the hashtag #BBCswitchoff.
The campaign, organised to highlight the publicly funded broadcaster’s perceived bias against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, began at 6pm to coincide with the TV station’s news program.
Time, to call time on the #BBC. In light of the last successful twitter storm; let’s apply that people power to boycotting the bias #BBC this Thursday.August 9th from 6pmSwitch off, retweet -#BBCswitchoffand share stories of BBC BiasSpread the word this #SocialistSundaypic.twitter.com/5N6rMBfItQ— Malcolm Tucker #BBCswitchoff (@_MalcolmTucker_) August 4, 2018
How does that feel @BBCNews? 13 million active twitter users, you can barely scrape 5 million for your flagship 'news' program the News at 10. We are still trending number 1 and we reached no 4 GLOBALLY. That's a reach of 330 million twitter users.Tatty bye! 👋#BBCswitchoffpic.twitter.com/Z2E2HVGw75— RedRobin 🌹 #JC9 (@BlogRedRobin) August 9, 2018
Thousands joined in on the protest, catapulting #BBCswitchoff to the top trending hashtag across the UK Thursday evening.
British citizens used the opportunity to voice their frustration with BBC editorial decisions, laying down accusations of bias against the broadcaster on a number of topics, including its coverage of Corbyn, the NHS, the Yemen civil war, and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
Dear @BBCNews I am keen to know more about why you pay controversial “charity” IEA to come on @BBCNewsnight in front of millions & speak about how badly the NHS is doing & how it requires an “overhaul.”Could you tell us more?https://t.co/qMN2jrmI58#BBCswitchoff#BBCBiashttps://t.co/TJP41HnhtO— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) August 9, 2018
The amount of bloodletting and carnage that the BBC are prepared to ignore in line with their neo liberal agenda is quite astonishing. The Yemen and Gaza for example. #BBCswitchoff— David Morgan (@DavidWestcross) August 10, 2018
Corbyn supporters condemned accusations of anti-Semitism engulfing the Labour party and pointed out how the BBC’s treatment of Corbyn differed greatly from its coverage of Islamophobic comments made by former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
When Corbyn is (falsely) accused of antisemitism the BBC invites his 'enemy' to comment. Boris Johnson writes open racist & Islamophobic comments, the BBC interview Johnson's 'friends' for comment #BBCswitchoff— Dallo #JC9 #VoteWillsman (@dallo100) August 9, 2018
The amount of smears and biased reporting the BBC has peddled on Jeremy Corbyn is astonishing. Having said that, the BBC have failed. Every time BBC smear Corbyn, Labour memberships increase and Corbyn does well in polls. #BBCswitchoff— Nadeem Ahmed (@Muqadaam) August 9, 2018
The BBC has shamelessly failed the majority of the British people,by whitewashing the policies of the vile government, and trying to brainwash them into thinking a decent politician is an Anti Semite. The BBC lie daily #BBCswitchoff 🌹🌹— Julie Harrington #JC9 🌹Yes 9 🌹 (@celtjules66) August 9, 2018
Others claimed that the BBC was legitimising far-right viewpoints and marginalising socialist voices.
I’m taking part in the #BBCSwitchOff because our media is playing a part in enabling the far right by legitimising their views on air and we cannot stand by and watch fascism become mainstream again.— Hasan Patel🌹 (@CorbynistaTeen) August 9, 2018
And one last thing before I turn in, @BBC : for those of us who still tune in very occasionally, we're sick to death of seeing Farage, so please stop consulting him every time Brexit is mentioned, which is quite frequently. Thank you #BBCswitchoff— Laura C #FBPE (@smilinglaura) August 9, 2018
The BBC is a revolving door for right wing (so-called) journalists. Could anyone name ONE Socialist working for the BBC political programmes? #BBCswitchoff— Dallo #JC9 #VoteWillsman (@dallo100) August 9, 2018
Many Twitter users said they had once been loyal viewers of the broadcaster but were now switching off for good, accusing the organization of being a mouthpiece for the Tory government and failing to hold those in power to account.
On the left is a screenshot of a Tory campaign slogan during the last election campaign.On the right is a headline from the BBC during the same campaign.The BBC is literally, word-for-word using Tory Party HQ slogans as their headlines.And GETTING AWAY WITH IT.#BBCswitchoffpic.twitter.com/oZ2uvI2SoV— Tom Pride (@ThomasPride) August 9, 2018
#BBCswitchoff I'm switching off - not just today but every day. We don't need lies, propaganda and sad stories about donkeys. We need cutting edge, honest, investigative journalism at its best. We do not get this at the BBC @bbclaurak . We have had enough.— Helen Nonny No (@NonnyHay) August 9, 2018
I'm afraid with some sadness I must agree with the analysis that the BBC has become increasingly the mouthpiece of the Tory party and even defender of the far right. #BBCswitchoff— Cliff Brown (@CliffBrownNcl) August 9, 2018
I've supported the #BBCswitchoff because @BBCNews can no longer do "balance". You cannot balance information with misinformation, facts with unicorns, truth with lies. You can't run political debate on who can provide the most sensational "box office" drivel. Grow up, Auntie.— Judi Sutherland #FBPE (@judi_sutherland) August 9, 2018
Dear @BBC, this is difficult to ignore #BBCswitchoff . I've always been a great fan of yours and I bet many others on here were too. But your fear of challenging those in power has lost us. My advice: switch over to @Channel4News and take a look at what real journalism is.— Laura C #FBPE (@smilinglaura) August 9, 2018
While the impact of the campaign was evident on Twitter, HSBC whistleblower Nicholas Wilson quipped that they would never know if the BBC reported on the viral Twitterstorm.
Nearly 150k #BBCSwitchOff tweets. Sounds like a there's a news story in that. If only we had a public funded broadcaster who was interested in reporting it with honesty, integrity and a willingness to listen and serve their funders.— Matt Thomas #JC9 (@Trickyjabs) August 9, 2018