Professor Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications, and Doug Specht, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication, have written an article for The Conversation about the anatomy of social media campaigns like #DefundtheBBC.
As Black Lives Matter protests occurred across the UK, self-described Conservative student James Yucel established the campaign ‘Defund the BBC’ after becoming disillusioned with what he interpreted as left-wing bias.?
Professor Barnett and Specht wrote: “Yucel’s call to arms – supposedly a spontaneous grassroots expression of anger directed towards “anti-government” coverage of the London protests – is an object lesson in how activists both create and inflate a campaign in which “ordinary people” appear to share their own political agenda. A Twitter analysis of what happened next – and how the flames were fanned by mainstream media with their own anti-BBC agenda – is very instructive.”