Facebook blocks event page of fake 'La Boum 2' festival

Facebook blocks event page of fake 'La Boum 2' festival
Bois de la Cambre Credit: Belga

Facebook has blocked the event page for "La Boum 2," an unauthorised party that was set to take place this weekend in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre.

Facebook blocked the "La Boum 2" event page "in consultation with the public prosecutor's office," a spokesperson for the social network said on Thursday evening.

"Our priority is to keep people safe, both on and off our platforms," the spokesperson said. "The local authorities have informed us that this event page does not comply with current legal requirements for Covid-19."

The police had contacted Facebook to find out what could be done to stop the spread of the announcement of the event, Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort said on Tuesday.

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On Tuesday, a spokesperson for ‘L’Abîme’ Facebook page, which announced the event scheduled for 1 May, was arrested by the police for questioning, and then released.

Investigators suspect him of setting up a private militia and inciting violence, but the man said in a telephone interview with Het Laatste Nieuws that this was not true and that he was "not organising anything."

In the runup to 1 May, over 8,100 people indicated on Facebook that they would attend the “La Boum 2″ event, and over 17,500 indicated that they were ‘interested,' before the page was blocked.

The event would be the sequel to the fake festival that was organised as an April Fools’ joke on 1 April, which drew thousands of people to the Bois de la Cambre and ended in riots, over 20 arrests and dozens of people injured.

Belgian authorities then tried to contact the organisers, but they were unsuccessful.

In the meantime, Brussels City mayor Philippe Close said that the park would not be closed this weekend, but that “a preventative approach” would be adopted, with the help of stewarding by police.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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