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The Dutch town of West Betuwe, Gelderland recently held online meetings of its city council using the popular meeting software Zoom. In the spirit of wanting to show its residents what they were up to, folks could follow the meeting by clicking on a link. Problem is, the wrong link was made public and city council was bombarded with racist slurs, fascist symbols and pornography.

It’s simple: city council supplied the wrong link to the public, but the Dutch media had fun blaming Zoom, hackers and everybody else but the officials who apparently didn’t know what they were doing. Of course, they had to cut their meetings short and need to figure out how Zoom works – Have they? They are considering going to the police as well since they had to deal with very nasty stuff.

Meeting in person like they used to is currently not possible due to the coronavirus. And it was also the first time citizens could watch. Now West Betuwe has a reason to figure out how online meetings work. However, I can imagine that it was a terrible experience for city council. It was so shocking that meeting again in person following Covid-19 measures is back on the table.

(Link: binnenlandsbestuur.nl, Photo of Paris Louvre facepalm by Phelan Riessen, some rights reserved)

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