More complaints about online discriminatory remarks

leroy fer selfie racisim rowThe number of complaints about discrimination via online channels in the Netherlands rose 22% in 2014, according to the official register.

In total, the MiND register processed 305 complaints. Of those 159 were complaints about discrimination on grounds of race. The rest were spread between discrimination on age or religious grounds, or anti-semitism.

Most discriminatory texts were placed on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and reflect the added attention paid to discrimination issues in the media.

For example, the discussion about Zwarte Piet and the selfie taken by footballer Lerory Fer (see photo) were triggers for a large number of complaints, MiND director Titus Visser said.

Last week, legal insurance company DAS said comments made on social media are increasingly being seen as a reason to sack staff.

For example, a security guard for Rotterdam public transport was sacked for a comment made about ebola in which he said money should be spent on the Dutch poor rather than ‘black monkeys’. Another security official was also sacked for praising the arson attacks on Swedish mosques.

In total, DAS said it had dealt with 300 cases last year in which comments on social media sites played a role. In 70 the comments were so serious they were considered grounds for instant dismissal, the Volkskrant says.

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