Ofcom’s code includes a rider to hate speech, requiring that it is likely to encourage crime or disorder. This is a relatively high bar, and is unlikely to be triggered by many programmes. Note also that ‘context’ may be claimed as justification for it.
Impartiality and accuracy are both qualified with the use of ‘due’. In legal terms, this means ‘appropriate’. The experience of many complainants is that Ofcom’s views of impartiality and accuracy may not always reflect the view of minorities in these areas.
Trans Media Watch’s experience of Ofcom’s interpretation of its code has also not always been happy. For instance, a simple complaint was laid around accuracy (a claim that Peter Tatchell had been no platformed) on the BBC. This was easily proven by reference to parliamentary records (where Tatchell said he had not been). However, this was initially dismissed by the BBC by redefining no platforming, a decision then upheld by Ofcom.
The BBC’s new definition effectively means that, in theory, anyone not invited onto a BBC programme can now claim they were no platformed. The likelihood of this being applied in practice seems slim to non-existent.
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