ICL: Indian Cricket League

Racist insults lead BBC to close website

Written by Kashif Aziz on February 18th, 2006   (304 views)

A TORRENT of racist and abusive postings on the BBC Test Match Special website has forced the corporation to close its message board.

Part of the site was suspended after the BBC received complaints that a number of users were sending insulting religious messages and promoting terrorism on the South Asian section of the Test Match Special website.

A trail of messages described as “absolutely sickening and reprehensible” is being investigated by the BBC in an attempt to trace the authors.

A message from the site’s hosts told those responsible: “You have no right to abuse the BBC’s service in this way. We will not sit back and let you post support or encouragement for acts of violence or racial obscenities.”

Last night those logging on to the South Asian bulletin boards could find only a BBC statement saying: “The Test Match Special South Asian board is currently closed. A decision to open it again in the near future will be made soon.”

A BBC spokesman said yesterday: “The highly anticipated series between India and Pakistan set against a sensitive time for international politics has led to hostility between the two sets of fans on the message boards. To stop offence being caused and taking into account the extreme volume of traffic, we feel the best course of action is to suspend the board.”

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: “If somebody reports it to us and we felt that there were offences within it, we would investigate . . . If people log on anonymously, it’s very difficult to find them.”

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