The Dutch government paid social media influencers to tell people to stay at home to limit the spread of Covid-19. They do not want to say how much money was spent on the campaign however.
Dutch blogger GeenStijl found out that the amount was between 60 and 100 000 euros, paid to only 8 influencers. Clearly, the government does not trust the mainstream media to relay the message of confinement and social distancing.
During the Corona debate, FvD MP Thierry Baudet asked Premier Mark Rutte on Wednesday which influencers were being paid for the lockdown campaign #AlleenSamen.
Rutte reacted in a hostile way (and in this crisis rather out of character) to a very normal question from Baudet. It appears that the influencers all come from the Talpa stable.
Why would the government pay €7500 to €12 500 per influencer to communicate a lockdown, at a time when the whole of the Netherlands have to stay indoors anyway?
Jaap van Dissel, the RIVM epidemiologist, told MPs on Wednesday that it was still crucial to follow the government’s instructions on social distancing. Models showing the spread of the disease have become more realistic, “but they are just estimations which help us to take the right steps,” he explained.
The government on Tuesday said it was extending the Dutch virtual lock down until April 28 and would reassess the situation on April 21.