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Racist abuse closes BBC Asian cricket online board

Posted by iNext - 2006-02-17

An online message board dedicated to Indian and Pakistani cricket fans on the BBC Web site has been shut down after some users began posting racist and religious abuse, the broadcaster said on Wednesday.
Some contributors on BBC's Test Match Special South Asian board had written messages supporting the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, another glorified Hitler and others insulted the Hindu and Muslim faiths.

A BBC spokeswoman said the site had been busier than usual with the two fierce rivals currently playing each other in a one-day series in Pakistan.

"The highly anticipated series between India and Pakistan set against a sensitive time for international politics has led to hostility between the two sets of fans on the message boards," a BBC spokeswoman said.

"There were a few of these discussions moving away from the cricket and becoming offensive.

She said the board was reactively moderated and the huge volume of traffic on the site meant it was impossible to effectively control it.

"In order to stop any more offence being caused, they thought the best thing to do was to take down the board altogether and to let everyone have a bit of a cool down."

"It's always a fairly heated board, but it was becoming too offensive and too much to manage."

The BBC were hoping to put the board up again soon.

India and Pakistan, who have fought three wars are currently engaged in a peace process aimed at resolving several disputes.

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