BBC receives complaint from Royal Household after spreading neo-nazi image of Duke
THE BBC has been accused of compromising the safety of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after it shared neonazi propaganda calling for the death of “race traitors”.
An image, featuring the Duke and published uncensored in an online news story, has now been taken down from the BBC website after a direct complaint from the Royal Household.
Prince William and Prince Harry are both aware of the picture and understood to be very concerned about its content, with aides deeply worried about the security implications.
The image is a red and black poster showing the Duke of Sussex with a gun pointed to his head, a swastika, and the words: “See ya later, race traitor.”
It was published on the BBC News website as part of an investigation into a Right-wing underground group called the Sonnenkrieg Division headlined “British Neo-nazis suggest Prince Harry should be shot”.
Three people have since been arrested, and two men, aged 17 and 18, were yesterday charged with terrorism offences. The image has now been shared widely around the world, reproduced on websites and in several tabloid newspapers yesterday.
It was taken down “several days” later, with the BBC saying it had “served its purpose in highlighting the nature of the group”.
A Palace aide confirmed that the image was removed following complaints from the Royal Household amid “very real concerns about the security impact of the decision to publish”.
There will now be “ongoing conversations to clarify what happened,” he said. Staff are now consulting with social media companies to find and remove the image to stop it from spreading further.
“This is propaganda that was designed to spread online,” a source said, pointing out that other extremist material, including that produced by Isil, would not be published on a mainstream news website.
It comes less than a month after the Duke of Cambridge chose the BBC as the venue for a landmark speech warning that internet platforms were being used to spread “misinformation and conspiracy to pollute the public sphere” and “normalise speech that is filled with bile and hate”.
A spokeswoman for BBC News said: “This image was used in a report of a long-running BBC investigation into a group of British neo-nazis.
“We used the image after careful editorial consideration, and added an online warning to audiences given the sensitivities around the story.”