• thoughts about incitation to racist violence in Brussels tonight

    Some belgian blogger posted a message today that called for a night of riots and "burn baby burn" near the football stadion of Anderlecht. The reason is that sunday there were some fights between some youths who live around the stadion (where also live many if not mostly immigrants) and some footballfans or hooligans/skinheads (depending the version).

    Just some thoughts

    The national media is putting this on the first page of their newssites and is so exploding the impact of that blog creating a feeling of tension and interest and anxiety that wasn't there before. Every incident - even the smallest one - will now be called a riot and will be filmed and showed on national television. If nothing happens the picture that will stay on our eyes will be the massive presence of police in riot gear showing off their force and presence.

    The comments under those articles from the national press - even the most progressive ones - are sometimes of such an aggressive and sometimes even racist tune that this can't appease the tensions. The extremists in fact like and need each other and prefer emotions to run high at both sides. It should be the role of the national media to make sure that there is still place for a rational and logical debate and exchange of ideas and propositions. It is clear that their comments under such articles (as with the articles about the flemish and the walloons) are the bad that are drowning the rational in a flood of irrationality and even calls for military intervention.

    Some articles even use old pictures or pictures from riots in other countries to make their articles look better. Unresponsable.

    We have I think a law and some services that can intervene against such hatespeech and radicalism on the internet. We have already used that law a few times to bring down some sites in Belgium. Based on this experience the responsable people should invest more in monitoring the internet and getting fast into action if things like that begin to appear.