The mayor of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk can’t take it anymore. Since 2020 he has battled a strange rumor that has turned the cemetery of his city of 35,000 in the Netherlands into a place of pilgrimage. The case has taken on such importance that the municipality has decided to sue Twitter so that the social network now erases all traces (past or future) of this story.
It all started two years ago when a certain Joost Knevel, who grew up in this city in the 1980s, started a rumor about an alleged pedo-satanic network.
Along with two other conspiracy theorists, Micha Kat and Wouter Raatgever, the trio accuse the city’s mayor, Christiaan van der Kam, as well as virologist Jaap van Dissel, director of the National Institute of Public Health who became a figurehead. public during the pandemic, of rape and murder of children.
“Cleaning is not complete yet”
An absurd and totally unfounded rumor, but one that is spreading through social networks. To the point that some visitors to the Bodegraven-Reeuwijk cemetery still come to lay flowers in “tribute” to the children.
The three men have since been arrested and sentenced by Dutch courts, but the municipality is now trying to wipe the slate clean. In particular, they were forced to delete their messages (especially on Twitter) evoking this rumor.
“The cleaning of Twitter is not yet complete”, declared, however, the lawyer from Bodegraven-Reeuwijk, who asks for a filter to automatically eliminate all new messages that appear, according to him, daily on the social network. He also wants all tweets from journalists who covered the case removed.
Clearly, the Bodegraven-Reeuwijk team does not want to hear any more about this story. Except that Twitter doesn’t intend to go that far, believing this would be too big an attack on free speech. Especially since the technical issue is not easy because the conspirators have long known how to twist the terms to escape the algorithms.
Social media content moderation is a veritable sea serpent that combines both cultural differences between the United States and the rest of the world, but also financial and technical issues to ensure effective moderation. Regularly criticized, the big tech groups have made new efforts in recent years, without really abating the criticism.
In July 2021, Twitter, which has only 2,000 moderators worldwide, was sentenced by the Paris court for failing to moderate hateful content. The Dutch judgment in the Bodegraven-Reeuwijk case will be delivered on October 4.
Source: BFM TV