BBC editorial guidelines on “Personal use of Social Networking and other third party websites” refer staff to a guidance document which states:
“…when someone clearly identifies their association with the BBC and/or discusses their work, they are expected to behave appropriately when on the Internet, and in ways that are consistent with the BBC’s editorial values and policies.”
Under the heading “principles”, the guidance states:
“The BBC’s reputation for impartiality and objectivity is crucial. The public must be able to trust the integrity of BBC programmes and services. Our audiences need to be confident that the outside activities of our presenters, programme makers and other staff do not undermine the BBC’s impartiality or reputation and that editorial decisions are not perceived to be influenced by any commercial or personal interests.
To this end when identified as a BBC staff member or BBC talent, people:
- Should not engage in activities on the Internet which might bring the BBC into disrepute.
- Should act in a transparent manner when altering online sources of information.
- Should not use the Internet in any way to attack or abuse colleagues.
- Should not post derogatory or offensive comments on the Internet.
Even if they are not identified as a BBC staff member, editorial staff and staff in politically sensitive areas should not be seen to support any political party or cause.”
The Twitter account belonging to someone calling himself ‘Comrade Grintz’ claims in the profile that the holder is a BBC cameraman.
A Tweet recently sent from that account referring to Labour MP Liz Kendall has been the subject of much criticism on social media.
Further perusal of the account’s timeline shows numerous other offensive Tweets.
If the BBC really does employ the holder of this Twitter account, then obviously the corporation needs to address the matter urgently. If not, the issue of someone posing as a BBC employee on social media and thereby bringing the corporation into disrepute also clearly warrants action.