Silenced by comments on corona measures – Topman Postillion withdraws from public debate

You can agree or disagree with him. You can love his style of presentation or find it ‘over the top’. Erik-Jan Ginjaar is an outspoken hotel director who looks at government policy from a positive perspective. After every press conference, he posts a video on LinkedIn with his reaction to the measures being announced. The common thread in his messages is: there is no point in complaining, let’s make the best of it together. Until recently, he was mostly praised.

The reactions he receives to his latest video post on LinkedIn following the recent cabinet press conference are sour, insulting and hateful. Terms such as collaboration, calls are made to boycott the hotel group, reactions with analyzes of the hypocrisy of his body language in the video: all brakes are released on the social business network. With a straight leg, the hotelier is filleted by opponents of the corona policy.

Declaration
The public insult is reason for the hotelier to present a public statement to come. He has decided to no longer intervene in the public debate. The post with all the negative reactions below has been taken offline.

The positive hotelier has been silenced. It illustrates the deplorable state of the corona debate. Now that even the business network LinkedIn is giving way to extreme opinions, the barrier is closed

“As we have done for the past two years, we as Postillion Hotels support the corona policy formulated by the government. We are still very convinced that only through cooperation can we overcome this pandemic. In those same two years, we have worked hard with heart and soul to continue to serve our clients and guests – wherever and whenever possible – in the safest way. From a firm conviction that doing what you are good at and not giving in is the only way forward. However, our support for government measures and the constructive approach we have taken has also been subject to much criticism. That’s part of it. Unfortunately, we have once again noted today that the tone of this criticism – particularly on social media – is becoming increasingly grim and aggressive. It is a tone in which we do not recognize ourselves and want to recognize ourselves.”

Deplorabel
The positive hotelier has been silenced. It illustrates the deplorable state of the corona debate. Now that even the business network LinkedIn gives way to extreme opinions, the fence is out. The herd of wandering spirits now also goes wild on opponents and poisons a constructive opinion formation. Open up the cesspool, pump up all the shit imaginable and spray it over the once fertile fields of debate. The algorithm then ensures that extremities receive extra attention, with the result that the reasonable middle disappears into a swamp of aggravation, misunderstanding and hatred.

Threats
But it turns out it’s even worse than I thought. I contact Erik-Jan Ginjaar and he says that he has been personally threatened and that he has reported it to the police. “In mid-September I made a post with the message that it was nice that we could open again taking into account the rules. That post has started circulating among a group of opponents of the corona policy. The reactions you get go a long way for a simple hotelier like me. My inbox exploded with misery, with the accusation that I am a dirty NSB member was one of the sweetest reactions.”

There is a solution: curation of content in advance instead of afterwards

The hotelier decided to seek refuge on the basis of the hate mail. With no further reactions in recent months, he made another video yesterday under the guise of: ‘We won’t be scared.’ The hatred he is now getting forced him to withdraw from the public debate for good. “The threats are now hitting us at home. The Postillion brand is also being harmed. From now on we will focus on our guests, on our hospitality and on preserving employment. But it is clear that we have gone crazy in this country in the meantime.”

Social media
With even innkeepers coming under fire – an ancient and venerable profession with a great tradition of providing hospitality to all who wish it – it’s high time that social media started regulating participation in public debate. After Facebook, much more businesslike LinkedIn is also prey to toxic contributions that are not intended to feed the debate, but to harm the person.

This disruptive effect on society must be counteracted. There is a solution: curation of content in advance instead of afterwards. Just like a publisher checks in advance whether contributions are not contrary to the law, morality and taste, social media must also use their artificial intelligence to test content in advance or decency and legal requirements. As long as that doesn’t happen, the hate mongers will be right and pave the way for even more misunderstanding in a society that is increasingly losing sight of the reasonable middle.

This opinion from a trend watcher, journalist and catering expert Hans Steenbergen appeared earlier this afternoon on Food Inspiration.

We want to say thanks to the author of this write-up for this outstanding content

Silenced by comments on corona measures – Topman Postillion withdraws from public debate