Worldwide news BBC under fire over "colonial" Queen tweet

When accused of "rebranding colonialism," the station blocked comments under the tweet.



After receiving negative feedback from the public who referred to the tweet as a "rebranding of colonialism," the BBC blocked comments under a tweet honoring Queen Elizabeth II's "longstanding bond" with Africa.


After the long-reigning monarch passed away on Thursday, the BBC's African division sent a tweet commemorating her relationships with African leaders throughout her 70-year reign. The tweet in question featured a four-and-a-half-minute video.


The BBC was accused of trying to "rebrand colonialism" by downplaying Britain's authority over Africa, which persisted into the late 20th century, by some who objected to the post. Zimbabwe was the last African country to achieve independence from the UK in 1980.


The Mau Mau anti-colonial uprising in Kenya, which resulted in 1.5 million Kenyans being kept in British concentration camps and heavily patrolled villages, amid widespread starvation and torture, was one example many users gave of how African freedom fighters suffered at the hands of their British oppressors over the years.


"While on tour in Kenya, she was crowned queen. On their continents, Africans were separated, sold into slavery, tormented, and killed, according to a Twitter user. "The BBC considers this to be a long-term relationship."


"Imperialism and colonialism, which meant that it was imposed upon us, prevented us from ever having a relationship with Elizabeth. COLONIAL connection," a third person emphasized.


However, some did attempt to defend the post; one user wrote that people were now using the Queen's passing as a pretext to condemn everything the United Kingdom has done over the previous 70 years.


The BBC Africa social media team decided to take action when the negative feedback persisted by banning all new comments and restricting thread participation to individuals who have been tagged by the channel.


On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96.


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