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Dutch town Bodegraven-Reeuwijk sues Twitter over false paedophilia claims

Picture Courtesy: Google

Dutch town of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk has sued Twitter over the spread of a conspiracy theory claiming it was once home to a ring of Satan-worshipping paedophiles on its platform. According to these false reports, Bodegraven-Reeuwijk was the site of the abuse and murder of multiple children in the 1980s.

These claims first came to surface on Twitter in 2020 by three men one of which said that he witnessed the crime himself. The local authorities want to see all posts relating to the alleged events removed.

Due to these claims many people have travelled to the town's Vrederust cemetery to leave flowers and tributes at the graves of seemingly random dead children. Twitter's lawyer, Jens van den Brink, declined to comment ahead of a hearing at The Hague District Court on Friday.

Last year, the court had ordered these meant to remove all their posts from the platform, however the claims still seem to be circulating. Cees van de Sanden, the town’s lawyer said that Twitter had not responded to regarding finding and removing all these posts.

The town’s mayor Christiaan van der Kamp said that claims were "very painful and sometimes even threatening for the relatives of the deceased”. The three men in question are currently in jail serving sentencing following convictions in separate cases for incitement and making death threats against a number of people, including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

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