A Flemish man has abandoned his Facebook account after people misidentified him as the cyclist involved in a bizarre standoff with a truck driver in a recent viral video.
The video, which we posted on our live blog last week, featured a Flemish cyclist refusing to pass a truck, arguing that there wasn’t enough room.
The truck driver said his truck was too heavy to go onto the verge and there was enough space to pass, but the cyclist disagreed and an angry argument ensued.
A longer version of the video, posted to YouTube but now deleted, finished with the cyclist shoving and perhaps punching the truck driver.
The Brussels Times reports that Carl Maegerman from Heusden, near Ghent, has been inundated with messages after people identified him as the man.
“I thought it was unfair that that guy was getting so much shit thrown at him that I placed a comment defending that cyclist,” he explained.
Maegerman’s point was that like so many of these videos, only the argument between the cyclist and the truck driver was filmed and not the events leading up to it.
However, the comment led to a Facebook user drawing attention to a resemblance between Maegerman and the cyclist in the video.
Since then, he has received hundreds of messages of abuse and his daughters have also suffered.
“I just had to remove everything, because it was unstoppable. Now, I have really experienced what fake news is and what it can bring about,” he said. “It’s like a fire.”