BBC web moderators blocked tribute page messages detailing Savile sex allegations

Pollard inquiry
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Detailed accusations about Jimmy Savile's sex crimes were censored after viewers tried to post them on a BBC tribute web page.

The comments included one person who wrote “One of my best friends in 1972 was molested by this creep Savile. He was never the same again. Killed himself in 1985. How's About That Then?”.

They were prevented from being published by a team of moderators employed by the corporation. The moderators did not refer the comments to anyone at the BBC for further investigation.

A transcript of an interview between Mr Pollard and former director general George Entwistle refers to examples of the comments, including one person who wrote: “He was a paedophile. You may not like the truth but he was. It will all tumble out now.”

Another wrote: “Sorry to rain on the parade of all the well-wishers, but he was infamous in Scarborough. I would not have been letting my son sit on his knee.”

During his interview, Mr Entwistle said he thought moderators may have been affected by “anxiety” after details of a hoax, which claimed Savile had been challenged about his crimes on an episode of Have I Got News For You, were published online.

The former Director-General told Mr Pollard: “I have seen an email where moderators are put on alert about not publishing stuff that is to do with this hoax, I think that might be part of the story about the pre-conditioning of their minds about how to treat critical material.”

But Mr Entwistle said he thought it was “unusual” that the moderators had not referred the allegations to anyone at the BBC.