BBC social media policy insists ‘second pair of eyes’ review news updates for Twitter or Facebook

The Next Web
The BBC’s new “social media guidance” strictly requires a “second pair of eyes” to review any staff social media updates related to news reporting. The policy is far more relaxed when it comes to staffers using personal social media accounts for personal things. For those cases, it simply lists some “considerations,” which it summarizes as “don’t do anything stupid.” But the section about social media messages carried out “in the name of BBC News” includes this paragraph (caps and bold are from the original document):

The golden rule for our core news, programme or genre activity is that whatever is published – on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere else – MUST HAVE A SECOND PAIR OF EYES PRIOR TO PUBLICATION. A second check might well avoid you saying or linking to something unwise which could land you, or the BBC, in trouble. While there’s recognition that staffing levels can get in the way of this, especially small teams in overseas offices, every effort should nonetheless be made to ensure this practice is adhered to unless there are urgent live deadlines.

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  • Anonymous

    Those are helpful details, thanks for taking the time to share it here Chris.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there. I’d just like to clarify a few things in case this post gives the wrong impression about the BBC News guidance and our approach to social media.

    Content on social media networks in the name of our programmes or brands – like @BBCBreaking and BBC News on Facebook – is normally double checked before it goes out, as per the section quoted above.

    The Twitter accounts of our “official” presenters and correspondents have a senior editor keeping an eye on tweets *after* they’re sent out – but there’s no pre-tweeting second check. 

    And there’s no second checking of personal social media activity.We think it’s important to be open about what we’re doing, so it’s all explained in this blog post, which makes clear the guidance isn’t new, it’s an update with a bit more detail, and also that it’s not set in stone – we’ll always be looking to update as the social media landscape changes:

    Chris Hamilton, Social Media Editor, BBC News