Racist comments lead Dutch broadcaster to dump Facebook poll on multicultural political party
A Facebook post by Dutch broadcaster RTL Nieuws about politician Sylvana Simons looking for a new name for her multicultural political party, led to so many "negative and racist responses" that the broadcaster decided to remove the post.
On Tuesday the broadcaster asked for suggestions for the new party name. Simons initially called her party Artikel 1, after the Article in the Dutch Constitution focused on fighting discrimination. But early this month the court in Amsterdam ruled that the name is too similar to that of discrimination center Art. 1. The party must therefore change its name by July 6th.
"We should have thought more on the possible consequences of asking this question. In retrospect, we should not have posted the message in this way", the editor of RTL Nieuws wrote on Facebook after the original post was removed, later on Tuesday afternoon. "Facebook is a place where everyone can freely comment on any post. But when responding, respect is essential as far as we are concerned. That was unfortunately lacking in the majority of the reactions."
Sylvana Simons was also met with racist and discriminatory reactions when she first announced that she is entering the world of politics last year. One person made a video in which Simons' face was photoshopped onto the bodies of lynched African Americans. A total of 22 people were prosecuted for these statements.