BBC ignores social media bans on ‘comic’ it quoted denying antisemitism

Last week Facebook announced that it had banned the French ‘comedian’ Dieudonné  from that platform as well as from Instagram.

“Facebook said Monday it had permanently banned French comedian Dieudonne, a convicted anti-Semite, from its platform and from Instagram for content it said mocked Holocaust victims.

It also said some of his posts used “dehumanizing terms against Jews.”

“In line with our policy on dangerous individuals and organizations, we have permanently banned Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala from Facebook and Instagram,” the company said in a statement, using his full name.

“Banning a person permanently from our services is a decision that we always weigh carefully, but individuals and organisations that attack others on the basis of what they are do not have a place on Facebook or Instagram,” it added.”

The ban follows the deletion of his YouTube channel by Google in June.

On June 30th BBC Business produced a report titled “YouTube bans prominent white supremacist channels” which did not note that Dieudonné’s channel had been terminated at the same time. In fact no reporting on his bans from YouTube, Facebook and Instagram appears under the BBC’s tags YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or social media.

Dieudonné’s Facebook account was flagged up by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs in 2017 due to content promoting Holocaust denial.

Readers may recall that in early January 2014 both BBC Two’s ‘Newsnight’ and BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ covered a story that was portrayed by the then ‘Newsnight’ presenter Jeremy Paxman as follows:

“Now a French comedian has managed to short-circuit his country’s professed commitment to free speech. President Francois Holland, with support from both Right and Left, today encouraged local authorities to ban performances by Dieudonné M’bala-M’bala – usually known just as “Dieudonné”. It’s being done on grounds of public order because his alleged antisemitism has tested to destruction Voltaire’s supposed belief that ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’ “

In a 2015 report BBC News found it appropriate to inform audiences that the ‘comic’ “insists he is not anti-Semitic” despite his having been convicted for making racist remarks in a Belgian court.

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