Czech disinformation outlet misinforms readers that a refugee camp "like Calais" is growing in Prague
The dissemination of disinformation and fake news to manipulate Czech readers takes various forms. A fresh example from the Czech tabloid Parlamentní listy demonstrates that the images used in news reporting play a significant role in such efforts.
Some people in the Prague 6-Dědina municipal department are expressing concerns about something unfamiliar to them, namely, a newly-created asylum and migration center run by the Czech Interior Ministry there, and they certainly have every right to do so. However, no two people ever write about (or photograph) the exact same thing.
It's rather logical that the media would take up this subject. The tabloid Blesk did so rather moderately and accompanied its piece with a somewhat boring but truthful photograph, this one:
The headline reads "People outraged by immigration center in Dědina, fear for their children and their safety". The disinformation tabloid Parlamentní listy, however, was much more exaggerated in its approach (see below).
Parlamentní listy copied Blesk's reporting, spruced it up, and accompanied the piece with photographs that are far more emotionally charged. The headline to the piece reads: "Gangs of smoking foreigners! Prague 6 Immigration center near primary school said to terrify locals."
The Czech name of the photographer (Jan Rychetský) and the caption to the photograph ("Occupants of the illegal camp called 'The Jungle' are abandoning it") give readers the impression that the image is of an actual place in Prague, a real photograph from the periphery of an otherwise prestigious neighborhood. In fact, this is an old shot of a refugee camp near Calais, France, nicknamed "The Jungle".
Such disinformation is the entire point here. Parlamentní listy is building up quite a tradition of media manipulation, and not just of photographs.
Recently the publication published this photograph to its Facebook profile:
The simple headline, "France", without any more information or explanation of the source of the photo, evokes a "Muslim invasion" of Europe. What are the facts, though?
This photograph actually has nothing to do with France, but was taken during Ramadan in India (where Islam is the second most widespread religion, after Hinduisim) in August 2010. in light of this fact, Parlamentní listy's motto - "Nobody can force you to believe anything" - suddenly takes on a whole different meaning.
This article was first written for the Institute for Independent Journalism.
- Czech Interior Minister and President disagree about disinformation unit
- Czech Center against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats will refute disinformation online
- Czech bank pulls advertising from disinformation websites, costing them revenue
- Analysis: Czech media spread Islamophobic disinformation about court-ordered removal of Virgin Mary statue in France
- Czech historian responds to tabloid disinformation about Romani Holocaust site
- Analysis: Czech businessman wages disinformation campaign from Dubai to increase appetite for authoritarianism
- Czech-language disinformation websites spread pro-Kremlin propaganda, are anti-Romani and racist
- Czech activist accuses two media outlets of producing disinformation and lies
- Czech MP publishes long-refuted fake video purporting to show "refugees" attacking a police vehicle
- Czech local politicians hold stormy meeting with non-Romani and Romani residents where long-refuted antigypsyist hoaxes and stereotypes resurface
- Czech Interior Ministry centre refutes most frequent disinformation about COVID-19 online
- Disinformation about COVID-19 in Czech first spread from Russian server, according to new analysis
- Busting the COVID-19 myths circulating in Czech
- Coronavirus-related HOAX in the Czech language alleges USA is moving troops to Europe
- Roma are most frequently targeted by hatred on the Czech Internet, experts say the law applies online too
- Czech racists spread their annual summertime lies about free entry to swimming pools for Romani people
- Czech Police investigating hateful online comments inciting violence against Czech Radio reporter that were sparked by politician
- Antigypsyist hoax returns to Czech Internet alleging that Roma get free public transportation
- Winner of Czech-Slovak singing competition "The Voice" subjected to racist attacks online
- Lawyer on groundbreaking Czech court finding: Courts must consider hate crime victims' perspectives now