Czech-language hate group tries to pass off picture of Nobel Prize winner as its Facebook administrator
Can we believe anything at all on the Internet anymore? Has it just become a tool for fraudsters, haters and propagandists?
It is becoming more and more complicate to recognize what is true online and what is either manipulation or even complete fabrication. On the Facebook social networking site, Czech-language groups that are complete fictions are being created in addition to real ones that are openly racist.
At the start of January, news server Romea.cz reported on a Facebook group calling itself "Roma against Islam", which used the names of the Dživipen association and the Terne čhave music group without permission. We expressed our suspicions at the time that the group is a fiction.
Our suspicions have been confirmed now that the group has published the photograph of its alleged administrator and secretary, a certain "Ján Balko". It took just a few minutes of online searching for news server Romea.cz to determine that the photograph is actually of Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, the Nobel Prize winner for chemistry.
Many photographs of Ramakrishnan can be found online. The fraudsters have done their best to make it hard to identify the man in the photograph - for example, they reproduced it as a mirror image so it would evade detection by Google photo identification tools, but their fraud has been discovered nonetheless.
Once their lie was discovered, the page's administrators posted a message giving the impression that the whole page is just a prank. According to their previous posts, however, it is clear that the purpose of the page was to attract Romani people to demonstrations convened by the the anti-Islamic group "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic."
The same people are also behind another false Czech-language Facebook page called "Educated Roma" (Vzdělaní Romové), which insults Romani people with would-be jokes. Facebook is ignoring requests to shut down the pages of these non-existent groups.
- France: Controversial humorist could be fined EUR 30 000 for Facebook post
- Czech-language Facebook page slanders Romani organizations as anti-Islam
- Facebook tolerates racism disguised as humor
- Czech Republic: Romani group publishes Facebook petition against collective blame
- Czech Republic: Five charged with promoting Nazism on Facebook
- Facebook pages of Czech MP and mayor spreading racism
- Czech youth prosecuted for promoting Nazism on Facebook
- Commentary: Czech Facebook and the Vítkov arson sentences
- Facebook group against Romanes language in Czech schools: 40 000 strong
- Czech police find assault weapons in the home of an anti-Roma Facebook page author
- Shut down this Facebook hate site!
- Administrators flee racist Facebook group
- Czech-language anti-Roma group on Facebook: Hardcore racism
- Celebrity rejected by Czech real estate agency because of Romani surname: "It was a shock"
- Czech court returns to case of hateful online comments about non-"white" first-graders, but witnesses fail to appear
- Ukraine: Racists attack Romani family of four, setting fire to their home and threatening a pregnant woman with rape
- Karolína Bánomová: Saste Roma – Info pal o koronavirus can be trusted about COVID-19, ignore the brainwashing conspiracy theories
- Patrik Banga: Police officer who beat Romani children in Slovakia must be fired, he relied on "cigoši" not complaining
- Slovak President asks for explanation of incident in which police officer brutalized young children in Romani settlement
- Slovak police officer said to have beaten five Romani children in Krompachy settlement and threatened to shoot them
- Romani woman with Harvard PhD calls Czech racist landlord over his antigypsyist advertisement
- Two men in Czech Republic indicted for approving of neo-Nazi terrorism in Christchurch, New Zealand
- Slovak PM harshly attacks critics of Govt approach to COVID-19 in Romani settlements, says measures are life-saving
- North Macedonia: Investigation of death of pregnant Romani woman denied care for days despite being in labor
- Romani and non-Romani figures from the Czech Republic send greetings on International Romani Day: But bacht the sasťipen!