Debunked: Has the BBC changed its logo from red to black?

The BBC has not changed its logo  (Getty Images)
The BBC has not changed its logo (Getty Images)

Social media posts have sparked fears of ill health in the royal family after some Twitter users misleadingly pointed out a change in the BBC’s social media branding.

The confusion was sparked by a tweet made overnight from user @FieldsLeaf, claiming that ‘BBC UK’ had changed its logo from red to black on Instagram. This was last done to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The claim made in the tweet is untrue. The BBC operates several social media accounts across platforms. Generally, the public service broadcaster’s main account – ‘BBC’ – will use an icon with its logo on a black background.

All its news accounts – including ‘BBC News’ – place its logo against a red background. This has been standard BBC branding for many years.

The social media misinformation comes amid fears surrounding the health of Kate, the Princess of Wales. Following planned abdominal surgery in February, the princess’ public appearances have been minimal, leading to much speculation.

Many Twitter / X users were quick to begin disproving the claims made in the original tweet, including Olga Robinson, Assistant Editor at BBC Verify, the broadcaster’s fact-checking and anti-disinformation branch.

Despite the criticism, the original post remains in place, garnering nearly one million views and 3,000 likes. Many separate posts also followed after the original to further promote its claim, demonstrating how fast misinformation can spread on the platform.

The original X post has now been hit with an unremovable ‘community note’ beneath it which debunks its claim and provides context.

This feature was introduced to the platform by Elon Musk after his takeover in 2022. It has been criticised for sometimes further spreading disinformation and bias due to a lack of moderation.

The last time the BBC changed its red branding to black was for the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The social media rumours of another similar change sparked speculation of further ill health amongst the royals.

Rumours have been circulating about the health of Kate, the Princess of Wales, in recent weeks. In January, Kensington Palace confirmed Kate had undergone planned abdominal surgery, and would not be returning to royal duties until after Easter.

The princess’ public appearances have been minimal since. However, rumours of ill health reignited in March when Kensington Palace posted a Mother’s Day picture of Kate and her three children to Instagram which was revealed to be heavily manipulated.

In February, King Charles was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer following earlier treatment for an enlarged prostate. He has since resumed royal duties, and is believed to be undergoing regular treatment.