The anonymous account ‘Radio Genoa’ shares hateful and racist tweets daily. Its reach is enormous: over the past year, the account's videos got nearly 3 billion views. An analysis by the investigative journalism platform Pointer (KRO-NCRV), in collaboration with VRT and IRPI, shows that of all MPs, Geert Wilders is by far the biggest distributor of the tweets.

Radio Genoa distributes videos in which especially refugees, Muslims, and people of color are portrayed as aggressive and a "danger" to "our culture" and society. The account has 650,000 followers, but manages to reach far more people. The more than 3,000 tweets it sent in a year reached a combined total of nearly 3 billion views. On average, that's almost a million views per tweet.

"Cultural enrichers"

Pointer analyzed thousands of messages posted by Radio Genoa on X (formerly Twitter) between April 1, 2023 and April 1, 2024. This analysis showed that the terms "cultural enrichers" or "culture enrichment" are used most often in the tweets: more than 500 times. The tweets’ contents are generally accompanied by a video, often showing a person of color acting violently against white people or behaving inappropriately in public. The context is usually completely unclear. An example is a video in which two men of color attack another man. As text is added: "Cultural enrichment with axes, knives and glass bottles in Forlì."

Besides "cultural enrichment", the term "jungle" appears 18 times. In early June 2023, Radio Genoa tweeted: "The jungle has come to Italy. Fight between North Africans armed with axes and knives. Who let these beasts into Italy? We want Julius Caesar back!"


Radio Genoa bereikt miljoenen mensen met anti-migratie-propaganda, ook politici

Dagelijks verspreidt het anonieme X-account ‘Radio Genoa’ een stroom aan filmpjes waarin vooral vluchtelingen, moslims en mensen van kleur het moeten ontgelden

Geert Wilders

When Radio Genoa posts a video on X, it is often pushed by well-known pundits with a large following online. The same goes for the Netherlands. Pointer’s research shows that Geert Wilders is the Dutch MP who shares the most Radio Genoa tweets by far. At least 30 times he shared a message on his own X-account. For example, he retweeted the account as recently as early December, a week after Wilders won the elections in the Netherlands.

Context-free video becomes evidence of fear

"These types of accounts try to turn fear into hate," explains Bharath Ganesh, assistant professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. "Researchers also call this 'trading up the chain'. You start with a no-context video. It's posted together with a suggestive message, something about cultural enrichment, 'this is how all Muslims are' or 'this is what immigrants do and Europe is losing.' Maybe someone with a lower rank within a political party sees the tweet, or a pundit. And soon it reaches a more influential politician who shares the message on his own page. A politician lends legitimacy to the original tweet: suddenly a random, seconds-long video counts as proof that a fear is well-founded."

Pointer discovers person behind Radio Genoa

Multiple investigative journalists previously tried to find out who is behind Radio Genoa, but without success. However, together with investigative journalists from VRT and IRPI, Pointer did manage to do so. An online search leads to an address in the Quinte al Mare district, in the east of the Italian coastal city of Genoa. In late April, KRO-NCRV presenter Anna Gimbrère rung the doorbell at the address, where she spoke to the brother of the person in question. Through him, she gets in contact with the man behind the account. An interview request was declined with the response that "for now, we have no intention of talking about Radio Genoa" and some days later, after a follow-up email from Pointer, all involvement in the account is denied.

Watch the broadcast about Radio Genoa:

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25 min 34 s

Wie het account Radio Genoa op X (Twitter) volgt, wordt overspoeld met video's waarin zwarte mensen geweld plegen of zich ongepast gedragen. Radio Genoa's boodschap? 'Dit gebeurt als je vluchtelingen binnenlaat in Europa'. De video's zijn miljarden keren bekeken, ook doordat volgers ze zoveel retweeten. Onder hen PVV-voorman Geert Wilders en Elon Musk, die Twitter overkocht en omdoopte tot X. Sindsdien zijn dit soort extreme accounts die angst en haat voor mensen met een migratie-achtergrond willen kweken, sterk gegroeid. Wij onthullen wie achter dit account zit en zoeken uit wat de gevolgen zijn voor de samenleving.

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