BBC advised to tighten social media rules after Gary Lineker tweet row

BBC advised to tighten social media rules for freelance presenters on its ‘crown jewel’ shows after Gary Lineker tweet row

  • Comes after a review ordered by the BBC Director-General after Lineker debacle 

Tighter social media restrictions have been recommended to the BBC for freelance presenters of so-called ‘crown jewel’ shows, following the embarrassing Gary Lineker debacle.

An independent review was set up in the wake of the broadcaster’s disastrous handling of the Match of the Day host, 62.

Lineker responded to a Twitter user who took issue with him commenting on immigration and refugees arriving in the UK by saying: ‘This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people, in language not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s and I’m out of order?’

Public outcry from some quarters led to Lineker being suspended as host of Match of the Day in March.

But that sparked a ‘walk-out’ from BBC’s football pundits on the corporation’s programming.

An independent review was set up in the wake of the broadcaster’s disastrous handling of the Match of the Day host Gary Lineker

The furore was sparked when the 62-year-old tweeted about refugees and government policy

Director-General Tim Davie was forced to make a humiliating and Lineker returned to screens the following weekend.

Mr Davie appointed former ITN chief executive John Hardie to review how the BBC’s guidance on Twitter use applied to freelancers.

The Times reports this morning that he has proposed heavy impartiality restrictions on social media posts should stay for senior leaders and staff in the news and factual division.

But he has apparently also recommended a new tier affecting ‘crown jewels’ presenters that would also be stricter.

A BBC spokesman refused to comment on the report on its contents and recommendations

Those on non-news programming will have looser guidelines.

It is not clear whether Linker would follow any new rules – as he has previously said that he believed he follow the rules.

Sources said: ‘You will have to be more careful if you are an individual working on a show that is synonymous with the BBC brand, rather than if you just pop up once a year.

‘The crown jewels shows will include Match of the Day and the question will be whether his attitude has changed.’

A BBC spokesman said: ‘We will not be commenting on speculation in relation to the review.’

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