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General election: BBC criticised for ‘dissuading voters from registering’ with Facebook posts just before deadline

The BBC has been criticised for posting about being apathetic about politics just before the voter registration deadline.

As many on social media rushed to encourage friends and family to ensure they were registered to vote, one of the BBC’s official accounts posted a range of tweets that called politics “meh”, encouraged people to send in suggestions of things that were more important than politics, and used a variety of bizarre stickers.

The criticism comes as the BBC’s coverage of the election comes under intense criticism for failing to properly hold the politicians involved to account.

The BBC has been forced to apologise for editing out footage of Boris Johnson being laughed at, and for replacing video that showed the prime minister had put a flower arrangement the wrong way up at the cenotaph.

Now it has been accused of helping to decrease voter registration and turnout by sharing posts on its Facebook stories that seemed to encourage young people to feel apathetic about the election.

The posts have triggered a widespread backlash for apparently suggesting that young people are disaffected with the election and would rather be doing something else.

“Our national broadcaster encouraging voter apathy in the young … Grotesque,” actor David Paisley wrote on Twitter.

“The worst thing in this whole election is the pervasive smug cynicism that says politics is boring and people must be bored of it,” wrote journalist Niamh Macintyre. “Deliberately ignoring the exciting possibilities of joy, community, mutual care, a real future.”

The BBC is yet to respond to the criticism after being approached by The Independent. The posts have since disappeared, as Facebook’s stories feature only stay live for 24 hours.


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