The anti-trans campaigning organisation Sex Matters published an article1 claiming that the regulatory body Ofcom are withdrawing from the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme. The article states that the source of this information is believed to be the company intranet, suggesting that there is an employee at Ofcom responsible for leaking internal communications.
At 8:59AM UK time on August 25th, a twitter user posted the same claim2, and used Twitter's mention feature to spread the news to several anti-trans organisations, including Sex Matters, along with the LGB Alliance and ForwomenScot.
Just over three hours later at 12:12 PM, the story was picked up and tweeted by a BBC Journalist3. The tweets include text found in the Sex Matters article. No citations are given for this story, except an acknowledgement of the previously mentioned twitter user4.
Sex Matters understands this release is posted on Ofcom’s intranet
The text features an intranet link to an Ofcom intranet service although this has been shortened to a t.co url, Twitter's url shortening service, which is used to track links passed by tweet or Twitter direct message.
The article then features what appears to be a verbatim statement describing Ofcom's decision to withdraw from Stonewall's diversity champions programme, which provides inclusion and diversity training for employers6.
Sex Matters have not revealed how they came to be in possession of material from Ofcom's company intranet.
It appears that information is being leaked from Ofcom's internal communications and finding its way to anti-trans organisers before official announcements are made. TSN request that Ofcom conduct a transparent investigation into the source of these leaks. The objectivity of the regulatory body is paramount, and the appearance of potential collusion with anti-trans groups is extremely troubling.
In addition, the reliance of BBC journalists on anonymous twitter sources for breaking stories is unprofessional, and the clear ideological bias of those sources raises questions about the objectivity of the broadcaster.