The BBC Complaints Department: Making a complaint to the BBC

Seen a story on the website that you don’t agree with or think is unfair? Upset by a programme? Or found BBC social media acting unfairly? Wait, what? Only once?

The BBC has a duty under its charter to be even-handed. On the trans issue, very often it is not. Here is how to complain. 

First: gather your details of the story. Get the URL, or links, if it is online (including facebook and Twitter). To do this, either copy the link from the bar, or use the arrow icon as you would if you wanted to share, and “copy link”.

Archive them if you can – navigate to Internet Archive: Wayback Machine and paste your link to archive the page. Note the address. 

If it was a broadcast programme, get the date and name of the programme. You can check BBC schedules online.

Now, go to the BBC Complaints Page & select “make a complaint online”. When begged to do so, do NOT just send a comment. These get ignored. 

Instead, make a complaint. You will need to be specific about where it was. If it is about the website, it is easy. If it is about behaviour of their teams on social media, you will need to select “General BBC”. 

Complaints are limited to 2000 characters, plus 50 for the title. Once you reach the limit it will not let you type more. Include evidence if you can (see example texts). It is a tight limit.

Once submitted, you will have an automated reply. Complaints take about 3 weeks to deal with. Often they are unsatisfactorily dealt with. You can appeal the response initially by making another complaint. If that is not satisfactory, you will then get a chance to appeal again to a higher authority – a further help sheet on this is in train. 

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