Get The Trolls Out! Greek partner Karpos has directly complained to Kathimerini, a leading Greek newspaper for publishing two separate pieces with anti-Muslim content without allowing any space for discussion.
On February 5th, Kathimerini published an opinion piece written by Eleana Vlastou. In the piece, Vlastou describes an incident she experienced on the London tube: a Muslim man takes out a prayer mat in order to perform prayer on the underground train. The piece features several inflammatory remarks towards Muslim people and other marginalised communities. Kathimerini then published a response piece to this, in which journalist Kostas Theodoropoulos defends Vlastou and her statements, and only furthers inflames the narrative.
While the content of the piece is troubling, the focus of the complaint filed by Karpos is the editorial choices made by Kathimerini not only to host both these pieces, but to disable comments and not to platform any alternative views. Oftentimes, when newspapers or online publications publish a troubling or divisive piece, they will give a platform to an author to counter the statements made. This allows for both sides of the argument to be given the same amount of publicity, and give readers a fuller picture of the case in point. Kathimerini failed to do this.
In their complaint, Karpos stated: “This letter asks that you give equal space to opposing views, allow for the interaction between audiences and writers and hereinafter specify whether or not you agree with the views expressed.”
“You chose to host the same views, amplified twice without providing a different approach published by another author, and without your newspaper stating whether or not it is aligned with the views expressed. In the absence of such clarification (e.g. ”Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper"), the reader may assume that your newspaper has made a shift towards the spread of phobic tendencies and therefore it also lifts its liberal character. If you have published any article other than this one by Theodoropoulos that contradicts these views please do point it out to us.”
We have so far not received any comment from Kathimerini but we will update this page if and when we do.