Remove the BBC Comment Section ("Have Your Say")

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This petition aims to see the removal of the BBC comment section ("Have Your Say") from all articles.

The objective of a comment section is for reasonable discussion and portrayal of views focused on the article. The reality is far from that, with most commentary veering off on a tangent and utlimately ending in arguments of unrelated matters, most commonly around Brexit, people's life choices, sexuality, social progression, and comments critical of the BBC's integrity.

The result of this is brewing hate and division in the BBC's audience, who consist of people worldwide. This is hosted on the BBC's platform and, whilst not written by the BBC, these comments are endorsed by the BBC in every case by allowing them to exist on their platform. In contrast, this is taken to be acceptable on a social media website as they are a place for discussion, talk and expression of personality. However, in the BBC's position as an unbiased, neutral, and factual reporter, these comment sections bring into question the integrity of the BBC.

We are aware the BBC does not have the resources to properly moderate the comments, and does indeed take action on comments in clear breach of its policy when reported by a user. We recognise that it is the general public who effectively fund this service and who are paying for hate and divisiveness to be spread through the BBC platform, and that most would rather see the effective reallocation of resources than to increase fees or transition resources towards monitoring the comment sections.

We are also aware of the potential for organised bodies to agitate discussions intentionally to cause dissent, especially in the face of areas sensitive to the British public such as terrorism, the NHS, Brexit, living costs, housing, social progression, the role of big business, the government, political affiliation, wage disparity, and many more.

Finally, we recognise that a well functioning and well moderated comment section would have little value above not having one at all. The discussion would not influence the article in most cases and, where a comment may have such value, the commenter can weigh their opinion through other routes to the BBC directly.

Our ideal result would be the immediate, total removal of the ability to comment directly on BBC articles. We understand that people may discuss articles between themselves in person or through many different online and offline media. This is preferred and does not detract from the integrity and worthiness of the BBC as a news source, and encourages fair discussion between different groups without using the BBC as a platform to spread hate and division.

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