Blog administrator at Czech daily gets death threats after shutting down "Bloc against Islam" bloggers
Cyber-bullying, death threats, racist insults. Patrik Banga, who is charge of administering blogs for the Czech daily iDNES.cz, has been facing all of those since Monday when, after several warnings, he closed down the blog of Martin Konvička, the leader of the populist, xenophobic "Bloc against Islam" group.
"If a Jew owns it, then Konvička can't go there...," "Patrik 'Crazy Cunt' Banga... that loser from Romea.cz?...", "Dude, that's the gyppo - sure that's not a conflict of interest...". These are just some samples of the insults posted to Konvička's Facebook profile after he published Banga's e-mail to him announcing that his blog on the iDNES.cz server had been closed.
Threats are also being sent to Banga's e-mail address. People are cursing him and threatening to kill and physically destroy him.
"The first threat arrived on the same day that we announced to Mr Konvička that we were taking down his blog. More threats arrived when we took down the blog of another member of Bloc against Islam who had immediately, in her very first article, published a big banner inviting people to a public event. Just like many others, she wanted to abuse the blog in order to promote her activities," Banga said in an interview for the Mediahub news server.
According to attorney Klára Kalibová of the In IUSTITIA organization, the responsible authorities should finally begin to address incitement to hatred through the Internet. "Social networks are fertile ground for antagonism, prejudice and violence. They do not represent some sort of separate legal area. Incitement to hatred is just as criminal in an Internet forum as it is on the public square. The responsible authorities should focus on these new manifestations of this criminal activity," she told news server Romea.cz.
According to Banga, Konvička failed to grasp that a blog is not a PR publication platform, but a platform with clearly defined rules. "Prior to this we had taken down five of his articles and warned him that we would either remove [his blog from being listed in] the headlines or directly deactivate it. Despite our warnings, Mr Konvička continued to publish his political PR. The last piece directly called on readers to support him, to vote for him," Banga said as to why the blog was closed down.
Cyber-attacks by supporters of Konvička against their ideological opponents are not new. Yesterday the Facebook page of "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" called for an attack on the Facebook page of Charles University's Faculty of Arts.
The call for a cyber-attack was a response to the Faculty of Arts condemning the arson attack committed against the Klinika Autonomous Social Center last weekend. Today administrators removed that call from the Facebook profile of "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic".
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