Dutch city sues Twitter to remove ‘Satan worships pedophiles’ posts

A small Dutch town sued Twitter in court on Friday to demand the social media giant delete all messages relating to an alleged ring of Satan-worshipping pedophiles said to have been active in the town in the 1980s.

Bodegraven-Reeuwijk, a town of around 35,000 people in the middle of the Netherlands, has been the focus of conspiracy theories on social media since 2020, when three men began spreading unfounded stories about the abuse and murder of children they said they were about that they took place there city in the 1980s.

The main instigator of the stories said he had childhood memories of being abused by a group of people in Bodegraven.

The stories caused much disquiet in Bodegraven, as scores of followers of the men’s tweets flocked to the local cemetery to place flowers and written messages at the graves of seemingly accidental dead children they claimed were victims of the satanic ring.

Twitter’s lawyer, Jens van den Brink, declined to comment ahead of Friday’s hearing in The Hague District Court.

Dutch city sues Twitter
A Dutch city is suing Twitter, demanding the site remove any posts that refer to a conspiracy theory about the city.
Robin Utrecht/Shutterstock
Twitter
Twitter declined to comment.
AP
Dutch Cemetery
The conspiracy theory has prompted tourists to travel to the city and lay flowers at the graves of random children they believe were murdered.
Shutterstock

Last year, the same court ordered the men to immediately remove all of their tweets, threats and other online content related to the story, ensuring none of it could ever surface again.

But despite her conviction, stories about Bodegraven are still circulating on social media, while others continued to repeat her story, prompting the town to take up the matter on Twitter itself.

“If conspiracy theorists don’t remove their messages, the platforms involved must act,” Bodegraven city lawyer Cees van de Zanden was quoted as saying by Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant on Friday.

Van de Zanden said the city asked Twitter in July to actively find and remove all messages related to the Bodegraven story, not just those of the three convicted men, but have so far received no response from the US company .

The men behind the Bodegraven story are all currently in prison as they have been convicted in other court cases of inciting and threatening to kill a number of people including Prime Minister Mark Rutte and former Health Minister Hugo de Jonge.

https://nypost.com/2022/09/16/dutch-town-sues-twitter-to-take-down-satan-worshipping-pedophiles-posts/ Dutch city sues Twitter to remove ‘Satan worships pedophiles’ posts

JACLYN DIAZ

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