‘Comically dystopian’: BBC accused of stoking voter apathy via social media posts aimed at young people
Having been repeatedly accused of scattershot coverage ahead of the UK general election, including failing to secure an interview with sitting PM Boris Johnson, the BBC is now being accused of feeding voter apathy on social media.
The broadcaster published a series of posts on its BBC Stories Facebook account, including such pearls as “politics can be a bit ‘meh’” featuring an image of a nonplussed grinch, “there’s been a lot of ‘blah’" accompanied by a black and white photo of Johnny Cash and a gaping mouth, and finally a fat-positive cartoon Spiderman apparently dying to know “what’s more important to you than politics?”
BBC FB stories last night a few hours b4 voter registration deadline... pic.twitter.com/meyU43sFaE— patten (@patttten) November 27, 2019
Reaction online was one of abject consternation and confusion, with many irate that the state broadcaster could actively attempt to dissuade a huge voter demographic from participating in the democratic process.
Some described it as “sugar-coated, candy-coloured, anti-voting propaganda,” with many agreeing and claiming it was a “completely outrageous and disgusting, an obvious ploy to discourage young voters.” Others were more succinct in their assessment: “F**king state of this,” one clearly irate commenter exclaimed.
The BBC’s alleged litany of similar abuses was laid bare throughout the comments online.
BBC: Sorry about the Moscow image of Corbyn. It was a mistake.BBC: Sorry about the wreath laying clip. It was a mistake.BBC: Sorry about editing laughter out of Johnson's question. It was a mistake.BBC: Sorry we forgot to book Boris Johnson for an interview. It was a mistake.— Debra Kidd (@debrakidd) November 27, 2019
However, it wasn’t all negative as many Twitter users were absolutely captivated by the overweight Spiderman deployed in the messaging.
“Okay the politics are transparently awful and the bias coming from our national broadcaster is disgusting but can we talk about that dummy thicc Spiderman in the last slide?”
I know this is a clear representation of everything that’s wrong with youth-oriented political media..... but I can’t stop laughing at the fat Spider-Man— Codex Mendoza 🧺 (@planoneck) November 27, 2019
The account previously shared the rather defeatist message that even if non-voters turned up, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome in 99 of 650 seats as the same MP would still have been elected. Stay home and keep swiping.
The UK will head to the polls on December 12 to, once again, decide its fate and the likelihood that Brexit will progress under Boris Johnson, should he be re-elected, or potentially face an about-turn and the possibility of a second referendum under Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
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