The BBC is facing backlash for publishing an article about lesbian women allegedly “being pressured into sex by some trans women.”
In the piece, the article’s author, Caroline Lowbridge, attempts to discover how “widespread” the issue is.
She cites things such as social media, people’s opinions and even a survey of 80 people as sources during her apparent investigation.
Lowbridge repeatedly acknowledges the lack of reliable information available, though never clarifies why she decided to write and publish the piece without it.
Although it is unclear exactly when Lowbridge deactivated her Twitter account, it was no longer live a few hours after the publication of the story.
A trans advocate account, @transadvocate, tweeted Lowbridge on 5 September 2020 in a bid to put her off writing the piece with a link to resources on the topic.
They said: “We hear that the BBC’s @CaroLowbridge is wanting to do a story on the ‘cotton ceiling.’ You know, that fake 2013 conspiracy where Planned Parenthood was training trans women how to rape Lesbians?
“All you need to know about it is here, Caroline.”
Despite apparently starting to work on the story over a year ago, Lowbridge only speaks to three lesbian women allegedly affected by the issue.
“While acknowledging the sample may not be representative of the wider lesbian community,” she writes, “she believes it was important to capture their ‘points of view and stories.’”
Lowbridge is referring to Angela C. Wild, co-founder of Get the L Out, who took to social media to share a questionnaire for lesbians.
The results concluded that 56% of the survey’s 80 respondents had felt pressured or been coerced into accepting a trans woman as a sexual partner.
Its findings are referenced extensively in the piece, despite the admission that its conclusions are not representative of the community.
Nadine Batchelor-Hunt, Political Correspondent for Yahoo News UK, criticised Lowbridge and the BBC for using such a survey as a source.
She said: “That BBC article about trans people is disgusting, I won’t share it as I don’t want to promote it. But whoever commissioned it should be ashamed.
“An article based on a social media poll by a group hostile to trans people with a headline that will drum up hatred is despicable.”
Similarly, The Independent’s Science & Tech reporter Adam Smith called the article “propaganda.”
He stated: “Headline: ‘Lesbians pressured into sex with trans women!’
“Evidence: a social media survey of just 80 people, only half of which actually agreed with, from a group condemned by Pride in London.
“This is propaganda.”
Complaints can be made to the BBC by clicking here.
Here’s how other people reacted to the article:
not going to link to it but that BBC article is lower than low and you can complain about it here https://t.co/aXbfA82vs7
— Imogen West-Knights (@ImogenWK) October 26, 2021
There are 33,818,578 women (16+) in the UK. Of those, about 1.1% are lesbians. From that, we can estimate that there about 372,004 lesbian women in total. The BBC article in discussion today sampled just 80 lesbians for it's data. That's 0.0215051451% of the relevant population.
— 🎃👻 EmmaaaAAHH!! 🏳️🌈 (@EmmaWard55) October 26, 2021
That BBC article about trans people is disgusting, I won't share it as I don't want to promote it. But whoever commissioned it should be ashamed.
An article based on a social media poll by a group hostile to trans people with a headline that will drum up hatred is despicable.
— Nadine Batchelor-Hunt #AfghanLivesMatter (@nadinebh_) October 26, 2021
By the way everyone, Caroline Lowbridge had deleted her Twitter account when I looked only 18mins after the article had gone up. Likely it was already gone. Remember this when they try to claim she was "forced off social media by abuse" later.
— Natalie Washington (@Transsomething) October 26, 2021
BBC has published an absolutely unbelievable tirade of hate claiming "some" lesbian trans women are sexually coercive or simply outright rapists.
The "statistics" on which the article is based is a survey conducted within the TERF community claiming trans women are predators. https://t.co/pEhREdKd34
— Savannah (@leftytgirl) October 26, 2021
Caroline Lowbridge, the author of the horrendous BBC article today, is no longer on Twitter.
But cached tweets show that she's been working on the article for over a year.
Despite this, the article itself only speaks to three people who are supposedly affected by the issue. pic.twitter.com/Gfnkk5ELKD
— Euan Yours (@EuanYours) October 26, 2021
Holy shit, NO ONE IS SAYING THIS CRAP!! That piece of crap article SAYS AS MUCH!
'Ultimately, it has been difficult to determine the true scale of the problem because there has been little research on this topic – only one* survey to my knowledge. However, those affected have
— SophieT (@SophieTMe) October 26, 2021
The entire basis for THAT shameful BBC article is a social media poll that only 80 people in a self-selecting group responded to. That's not journalism. That's scraping the barrel to find something, anything, that can be used against a vulnerable group you don't like.
— Steph Paton 🍂 (@stephenpaton134) October 26, 2021
Of course, I am ignoring the main issue… that a journalist has clearly used their platform to actively seek evidence which they can use to mythologize and persecute a minority group as being a threat to women. As Judith Butler argued, its straight out of the fascists playbook. https://t.co/YbD6U77kbJ
— Dr. Alex Powell (@APowellLaw) October 26, 2021
Headline: "Lesbians pressured into sex with trans women!"
Evidence: a social media survey of just 80 people, only half of which actually agreed with, from a group condemned by Pride in London.
This is propaganda. pic.twitter.com/GbRzieoCqu
— Adam Smith (@adamndsmith) October 26, 2021
every single trans activist & activist group with a countering opinion to caroline lowbridge's that she reached out to for comment declined to speak with her and she still wrote it anyway and then the BBC was like yes! what amazing journalism. run it
— anarcho-cracker-barrelist (@lavathem) October 26, 2021
I don’t know a single lesbian irl that holds the views expressed in the BBC article, but it’s no coincidence that they’re the ones platformed by main media… pitting minorities against one another is an age-old tactic for reducing our ability to challenge conservative structures
— eddy (@EddyLaurie1) October 26, 2021