Another Czech-language Internet hoax gives false, sectarian, xenophobic interpretation to video of riot
A video has been shared almost 1 500 times by the Facebook page "Evropa-Evropanům" ("Europe for Europeans") and viewed by more than 80 000 unique users featuring scenes of violence on the streets of Brussels. The page is alleging the footage is of refugees attacking police, breaking in shop windows and destroying Christmas decorations.
Absolutely all of those claims are false. The video actually shows fans of a rap star, Vargassse 92, engaged in the violence.
"Migrating youth assault police, smash in shops and windows, destroy Christmas decorations...," the administrators of the Facebook page have posted in an attempt to allege that the reason for the violence is religion and that the vandals were atacking symbols of the Christian holiday of Christmas. The violence did actually happen in Brussels on Wednesday, 15 November, but religion played no role in it.
Belgian police released no information as to whether any of the rioters were either migrants or refugees, and there are no official reports of the destruction of Christmas decorations having been part of the damage. The Czech News Agency wire service reported on the incident as follows: "Belgian Police arrested 30 persons in the center of Brussels Wednesday for rioting. The group of predominantly young people destroyed shop display windows and automobiles near the Place de la Monnaie."
According to Agence France-Presse, the well-liked French rapper Vargasss 92 summoned his fans to the spot and was one of the 30 people arrested. The rap star invited his fans through social networking sites, where he is followed by more than 600 000 young people, to help him make a video through a so-called flash mob.
The rapper had neglected to apply for a permit, so police prevented him from filming. "Incomprehensible and unacceptable violence in the center of Brussels again," commented Belgian Interior Mnister Jan Jambon on Twitter, who also said the police intervention had been necessary to restore order.
The Belgian news server La Derniére Heure reported that roughly 100 rioters were pacified by about 50 police officers. As for "Europe for Europeans", this is not the first time the hateful Czech-language Facebook page has shared a deceptive or manipulative video.
In the summer of 2016, the page posted video footage of a brutal clash between riot police and young men, identifying it as an "Islamic invasion" of Europe. The well-liked Czech documentary filmmaker Dan Pribáň then posted to his own Facebook page that the footage was not of an attack by "Islamists", but of a demonstration by students in Peru demanding that a university be opened, and he called on his fans and friends to post the information to "Europe for Europeans" that their description of the video was deceptive.
Europe for Europeans subsequently deleted that particular video. At the beginning of 2016 they had published a video that they alleged showed immigrant youth assaulting and robbing a young woman somewhere in Europe, but the footage was from Brazil.
- Czech online media spread disinformation about refugees in Sweden
- Czech online tabloids recycling long-debunked antigypsyist hoaxes alleging Roma get free transportation, washing machines
- Czech Republic: Yet another hoax hits senior citizens' inboxes, police need complaints to take action
- HOAX: Video from Prague spreads through Facebook alleging "Islamic refugees" were caught trying to rape a girl
- Facebook wants to combat online hoaxes through expert fact-checking
- Online HOAX alleges Swedish Christmas lights cancelled because of Muslim demand
- Russian news servers spread hoax that "Western media" are faking reports of civilians rescuing children in Aleppo
- Czech-language hoaxes deceive online with footage from feature films and news reports
- Czech-language Internet again spreading hoax about "free medicine for Roma"
- Czech-language online hoax alleging Prague terrorist attack now spreading among Slovaks and stealing Facebook passwords
- Czech Republic: Politician spreads hoax that Roma get washing machines for free
- Czech-language online hoax alleges terrorist attack in Prague in order to steal personal data
- The online hoax phenomenon and how to address it
- Czech-language internet users, Roma included, fall for debunked hoax about mass wedding of adults and children
- Czech Republic: Anti-refugee hoax online after gas station attendants mistake Roma from Slovakia for "refugees"
- Yet another Czech tabloid news server perpetrates a racist hoax
- Czech Republic: HateFree Culture project refutes online hoaxes about refugees
- UK: Right-wing extremists use social networks to propagandize through kidnapping hoax
- Czech tabloid report on Romani political party may be a hoax
- Czech restaurant chain apologizes to Romani musician for refusal of service
- Czech town sees street fight, mayor writes about the "gypsy nuisance" - then ignores other violence involving non-Romani people
- Czech candidate shocked when online haters targeted her two-year-old
- Czech Police charge adults who assaulted Romani children with three felonies including racial defamation
- Czech restaurant says reservations, not racism, were why a Romani group was not seated despite empty tables
- Winner of Czech-Slovak singing competition "The Voice" subjected to racist attacks online
- Czech court acquits football hooligans accused of assaulting dark-skinned man on Prague tram, prosecutor appeals
- Czech descendants of WWII resistance fighters demand senator resign over speech at Holocaust memorial
- Manipulation ahead of the EP vote: The tail wagging the dog
- Czech Senator compares environmental, gender equality, multiculturalism advocacy to racism and totalitarianism at Holocaust site
- Italy: Almost 1 000 Roma and Sinti march in Milan on Romani Resistance Day
- Czech disinformation websites draw hundreds of thousands, share readership with anti-EU, neo-Nazi and pro-Kremlin websites