GeenStijl.nl (English:NoStyle) is a popular Dutch blog founded in April 2003. Its trademark images are that of a female silhouette utilizing a chainsaw and that of a crown within a circle, both in a pinkish colour.
GeenStijl often uses a provocative tone when referring to other internet sites and blogs. Readers are encouraged to comment on other people websites (such as the one of GroenLinks-politician Femke Halsema) or to sabotage online polls, skewing the results. Famously, in March 2005, GeenStijl pronounced it was going to defeat the second Balkenende cabinet, which was experiencing major crisis at the time. D66 being a democratic party, held a party congress in Rotterdam letting its constituencies decide whether D66 should continue to be a coalition partner. GeenStijl professed it would bus in people from all over the country to Rotterdam, signing them up as new D66 members and then having an ultimate vote in the decision making process. The claim being void in the end, did create a media uproar, with even the respectable newsbroadcast of the public television giving attention to the (non)event.
The blog attracts around 75,000 visitors each day, and counts as being one of the top 10 news sites of the Netherlands. On March 17 2006, the Telegraaf Media Group took a 40% interest in GeenStijl. The editorial team of Dominique Weesie and Ambroos Wiegers both owned 50% of the shares, against 30% after the takeover. The deal was claimed to be worth €2.6 million.
As Dominique Weesie has pointed out, when he started the blog, there was a good market opportunity for a tough-talking, politically incorrect blog, because the existing ones used language which was too vulgar to be acceptable to the mainstream media. One feature of the blog is the use of four-letter words in a fantasy spelling, to reduce their shock effect. The site has been criticized for the xenophobic and extreme nature of the comments it allows readers to post. Anti-islamic and anti-immigrant comments are stimulated by the selection and the presentation of its topics, and the stereotyping in them: the number of stereotypes and ridiculizing names used for immigrants is far higher on the site than for non-immigrants. The blog aims to be a right-wing equivalent of the British tabloids, confirming the prejudice of its readers and thus provoking loads of comments. In combination with Weesie's network, who had been a reporter for the major Dutch newspaper "de Telegraaf" for more than 10 years, this has proven a successful formula.
In May 2006, internet service providers in Bonaire started boycotting GeenStijl after the blog had published secret and private documents of Bonairean public prosecutor Ernst Wesselius. GeenStijl claims it obtained the documents via the P2P software Limewire, although investigators did not find the respective software on Wesselius's computer. The ISPs stated that "this is a one time action, because the publication has infringed our sense of ethics". Access to the site from Bonaire has since been restored.
GeenStijl had started working on the television program SteenGeyl with public broadcaster BNN in 2007. GeenStijl founder Weesie stated that they were to spend "tax payer's money." However, a dispute arose over the timeslot in which the program was to be broadcasted, and production was halted.