There is an interesting development in The Hague that bears watching. The CDA and PvdA Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament factions are working on making the posting of videos showing real violent acts illegal.
The sharing of such has become prevalent in St. Maarten particularly among youngsters. This is said to encourage school fights and cases of abuse so people doing the recording and sharing it can get attention on social media.
Their thirst for sensationalism and popularity comes very much at the expense of others. Especially if they don’t make any attempt to help obvious victims, this can be characterised as antisocial and borderline criminal behaviour.
The intention is to specifically prohibit distributing images of persons being beaten and/or kicked, with a maximum fine of 9,000 euros. There appears to be majority legislative support for this idea in the Netherlands after a man was recently attacked by teenagers at Amsterdam Arena and a video of the incident went viral.
Two of the current Dutch coalition parties – VVD and D66 – reportedly have doubts. It was pointed out that pictures online can also assist police in catching culprits seen on camera.
However, both Victims Support and the Prosecutor’s Office of the Netherlands back the initiative because the practice glorifies violence and stigmatises. It’s also a serious violation of privacy that in their eyes warrants being criminalised.
Authorities in Philipsburg should closely follow this matter. Following suit might be well worth considering.