The latest item in that genre was commissioned from an academic contributor from Oxford University and it appeared on the BBC News website on February 12th under the title “Why so many people believe conspiracy theories”.
The article provides readers with several examples:
Given its long-standing interest in the topic, one would of course assume that the BBC would by now be able to recognise conspiracy theories for what they are and avoid promoting them – and the people who peddle them – in its own content.
One prime example of BBC promotion of conspiracy theories is its relentless amplification – most recently in November 2018 – of the notion that Israel poisoned Yasser Arafat. In November 2013 alone visitors to the BBC News website saw nine separate reports which amplified that conspiracy theory.
A 2007 BBC report promoting the notion that “Israel itself was behind” the Entebbe hijacking is still available online.
In July 2018 the BBC amplified misinformation concerning the ‘White Helmets’ put out by Russia and the Syrian regime – despite having previously categorised it as conspiracy theory.
“In relation to the Brussels attack two days previously, from around 22:17 ‘Steve in Streatham’ told listeners that:
“This is a terrorist false flag. Anyone who knows about false flags will know that these covert operations include Israel’s Mossad, the CIA and MI5 to blame other countries for their agenda in the Middle East and this is what’s going on time and time again. […] Those Zionists out there that are doing all this, they wanna blame certain sections of people to achieve their agenda of taking over the Middle East….””
So before the BBC publishes its next article purporting to inform audiences on the topic, perhaps it should take a long look at its own record of mainstreaming a variety of Middle East related conspiracy theories and seriously consider the question of how that practice contributes to meeting its obligations to audiences.