The BBC has launched a probe into its journalist Nimesh Thaker, who has been accused of using an anonymous Twitter account to troll BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Emma Barnett.
The Jewish Chronicle is reporting, based on screenshots seen by the paper, that BBC World News journalist Nimesh Thaker trolled Barnett under the pseudonym ‘Not That Bothered’ to support those attacking the presenter on Twitter.
The abuse took place after Barnett made a speech decrying rapper Wiley’s calls for Jewish people to “crawl out” and “defend their privilege,” causing a torrent of anti-Semitism online in July.
The presenter discussed the impact of anti-Semitism on her family – Barnett’s grandmother fled Austria to escape the Nazis – and condemned Wiley’s outburst.
Thaker’s alleged troll account supported those critical of Barnett in the immediate aftermath, while posting messages stating that the state of Israel was both “racist” and “white supremacist.”
Thaker was allegedly the architect of his own demise as he reportedly forgot to log out of the troll account and contacted people for information he would use in his capacity as a BBC world journalist, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
“The BBC takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously, and while we cannot comment on individual staff issues, we have robust processes in place to investigate any such matters with urgency,” the BBC said in a statement.
The BBC is already undergoing a major overhaul of its practices following the recent Proms debacle.
“These allegations are very concerning and, as the nation’s broadcaster, we expect BBC journalists to adhere to the highest standards of impartiality,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said of the reported internal investigation.
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