BBC publishes guidelines for employees detailing that employees are banned from expressing “a personal opinion on matters of public policy, politics or controversial topics” in a bid to “force staff to maintain impartiality”. The new restrictions will apply to both BBC-affiliated and private social media accounts and implicate liking, retweeting, following and sharing “controversial” content.
Interestingly, the restrictions encompass the broad spectrum of public expression of opinion, including public campaigning and participation in marches. In October 2020, Tim Davie the Director General of the BBC clarified that employees will remain free to attend “community events that are clearly celebratory” such as Pride parades. Despite the new restrictions, questions have been raised as to whether the BBC’s new policy is potentially discriminatory.