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Gay News : Publications : Issue 274 : Complaints on Internet Discrimination at MiND

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Complaints on Internet Discrimination at MiND

by our Editors in General , 20 juni 2014

The MiND, the new complaints point on internet discrimination, filed complaints that were submitted on a near-daily basis, and of which 7% were about sexual orientation.

This becomes clear from the Annual report 2013 of the MiND (Meldpunt voor internetdiscriminatie).

In the first year of its existence, MiND received 251 complaints. This means that over 2013, one complaint is filed practically every working day at the MiND. More than half of these complaints (129) were about racial discrimination. In 2013, MiND furthermore received complaints about discriminatory statements on sexual orientation (18), anti-Semitism (14) and Religion (12).

With regard to the complaints about racial discrimination, over forty percent (53 complaints) concerned people with a darker skin. At the end of last year, the MiND received 15 complaints about discriminatory statements due to the ‘Black Pete discussion’.

MiND president Titus Visser concludes that “when topical social discussions take place with discrimination at centre stage, the indignation of civilians often becomes visible in the number of complaints about this discussion at the MiND”. Recently, this was also the case in a political matter. Via 25 complaints were received after statements by Geert Wilders about Moroccans during an election meeting of his party. In 2013, twenty percent of the reports on racial discrimination came from Dutch-Moroccans (24 reports).

For almost half of the complaints (124), the statements were made on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The other complaints mostly were about statements on independent websites (92) and online fora (10). “Generally speaking, Dutch websites have a sound policy of moderation,” Titus Visser states. “Yet discriminatory statements that are offensive to groups within our society will continue to be made. The Internet offers an accessible podium to respond without feeling inhibited to a great extent and hurt people unnecessarily.“

MiND is the countrywide complaints point for punishable and discriminatory statements on the web. The MiND was established in 2013 by the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, and the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.  

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In the New Issue of Gay News, 309, May 2017

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