(Hoax) Assault On A Dutch Blogger

By | April 20, 2004

[Note: Thanks to Mike at TechDirt and others for pointing out that this may well have been a hoax. The website GeenStijl now acknowledges that the person in question is alive, well and was not attacked. Here’s shutterclog and BlogHerald on the incident.

Apart from musing on the irresponsibility of whoever it was at GeenStijl who posted the hoax (and the likelihood the website itself will never be taken seriously as a source of information), the incident also raises interesting questions about the credibility of blogs vs traditional media.]

Blogging can be a dangerous business.

Bas Taart, a Dutch blogger, tells me that one of the contributors to the Netherlands’ biggest blog, GeenStijl (No Style), was beaten unconscious late on Monday at his home by three men wearing skimasks and wielding a baseball bat. The GeenStijl website says that the victim, known as ‘Chilean Guy’ had been threatened several times before.

A note on the website said “This event has caused us to stop our blog, effective immediately. We’re broken, stunned and don’t want to go on this way…. Apparently freedom of speech is no longer allowed in this country.”

Bas tells me that GeenStijl has made quite a few enemies, “taking on spammers, pedophyles, criminals and organisations that spend too much government funds”. Last week, according to Digital Media Europe, GeenStijl posted a copy of recording a convicted murderer had posted to his own website and was charging visitors to access.

The recording had the murderer’s former girlfriend informing the police that he was standing outside with a gun, while the sound of gunfire could be heard in the background. DM Europe quoted a spokesman for GeenStijl as saying “It is terrible that a criminal can make money on a murder he committed.”

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