By Darryl Mason
Call me paranoid, but this most curious online commentbait by the BBC would be a great way for data-mining police and intelligence agencies, 'hacking' BBC online, to get hold of the ISPs of those who do think in the affirmative, and passionately so :
Look at the number of rejected comments compared to the total number :
You can imagine the pure hatred, and agreements with violence against gay people, in some of those rejected comments. Or most of them.
Almost half of everything submitted by readers was deemed completely unpublishable, on a story that asks such an absolutely demented question in the guise of "public debate". Anyone working in a digital newsroom would well know a 'Should Homosexuals Face Execution?' debate would bring the "Yes! Kill The Faggots!" crowd out in droves.
Here's how the BBC explains itself :
Yes, we accept it is a stark and disturbing question. But this is the reality behind an Anti-Homosexuality Bill being debated on Friday by the Ugandan parliament which would see some homosexual offences punishable by death.The BBC's official excuse for this, after the inevitable explosion of outrage, will be something like the question and debate was aimed at Ugandans, or Africans, reading BBC News online.
Has Uganda gone too far? Should there be any level of legislation against homosexuality? Should homosexuals be protected by legislation as they are in South Africa? What would be the consequences of this bill to you? How will homosexual 'offences' be monitored? Send us your views.
It's a bullshit explanation. Unless a site is restricted to only individuals of one country (pretty well impossible anyway) the BBC knows everything it publishes can be read just about anywhere in the world.
Most of the published comments come from readers in the UK, as expected, so presumably many of the rejeted comments, containing violent opinion or abuse too berzerk to publish, also came from UK readers.
It seems a far more sinister exercise than simply 'opening up a debate'.
UPDATE : Ninemsn has more, and covers response from the BBC. Which was as predicted.