Mate, do you read BBC article comments normally?
I’m guessing not. Because since they’ve had comments on them, they’ve been filled by the worst kind of Boomer bigotry. Which is what, more than a decade now?
A tiny minority of people, not “many”. Nasty exhibitionist Boomers. Specifically the BBC news comments, which I gave up reading a few years ago because of the extreme bigotry (which as noted, was going on long before Brexit), are about 90% nasty bigot-Boomers. Why? Because they’re too incompetent and technophobic to have Twitter accounts or the like, and even Facebook is challenging for a lot of them, but the BBC, in their infinite fucking wisdom, decided that dumb fucking bigots should be allowed to rant in public, at the cost of public money.
You want a good example? “Major Dennis Blodnok” there is an obscure Goon Show character (who last appeared in 1972), so obscure that even I though I did listen to the Goon Show, albeit only because my parents are Boomers, and am 42, doesn’t even remember him.
Someone who remembers him well enough to choose it as their name to comment on is going to be at least 70. If not older.
So you acting as if this is something new or “caused” by this is just wrong. These Boomers have been writing horrible shit in the BBC comments since forever. And they’ll keep writing horrible shit in it until they die or get too old to be able to hammer that stuff out.
You see the same in newpaper comments, because any technically incompetent bigot can still figure out how to register and comment, and can get their ghastly bigotry put directly under a news article, and thus potentially seen by thousands of people. The BBC does a particularly piss-poor job of keeping their stuff free of outright racism and so on too. I’ve complained about inarguable actionable, illegal racism in the BBC comments before and they did nothing for six months, and then just deleted the comments (all of them! not just the racism) off that article, when I complained again and threatened to take it to the BBC Trust (who once ruled me right on another complaint the BBC refused to deal with).
Also a 21% increase in racist incidents is tiny. Bigotry against Muslims often spikes by 100-200% or more. 21% is so small it could simply be down to people actually reporting stuff that wasn’t before, or people being more worried generally.