Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,
The BBC has been reporting extensively on the so called "Fake News" epidemic and efforts by various entities on social media platforms to manipulate opinion using online messages, posts, tweets, likes etc. As an internationally recognised entity with its own interactive online presence (for example, in the numerous "Have Your Say" sections on your news articles) I am wondering what activity the BBC has seen to this effect, and what efforts have been made to counter such activity.
With this in mind I wish to make the following requests for information from your organisation regarding accounts for your public websites.
1) Is there any activity within the BBC to identify accounts which have been created, on the face of it, to manipulate public opinion (e.g. by up or down voting comments in the "Have Your Say" section)
2) Is there any activity within the BBC to terminate accounts which have been created, on the face of it, to manipulate public opinion (e.g. by up or down voting comments in the "Have Your Say" section)
3) How many accounts have been terminated by the BBC since May 2015.
4) How many accounts have been terminated by the BBC since May 2015 as a direct result of activity by the BBC detailed in 1) above.
5) What is the total number of accounts active on your websites for each month since May 2015?
6) What is the total number of new accounts created on your websites for each month since May 2015?
For questions 3 to 6 please break down this information by month, or by whatever larger unit of time is possible if this data is not available on a monthly basis.
Dear Mr Blaser
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 16.11.2018. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.
The reference number for your request is RFI20182125.
BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP
Email: [BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2882
Please find attached our response to your request for information
Information Rights, BBC Legal
BC2A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP