Czech MP publishes long-refuted fake video purporting to show "refugees" attacking a police vehicle
The "modern trend" on the disinformation scene in recent months has been attacks on the European Union and the exploitation of COVID-19 as a subject. In the Czech Republic, however, the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party remains "unmodern" and is sticking to "good old migration" in its disinformation work.
The head of the party's club in the lower house, Czech MP Radim Fiala, posted a shocking video earlier this month on Facebook purporting to show a group of "migrants" allegedly destroying a police vehicle in Italy. The footage is actually from a five-year-old feature film that was on wide release, including in the Czech Republic.
One of the Facebook users responding to Fiala's post, named Stanislav Hanák, wrote that "One machine gun with a full magazine, as a warning, would take care of that" (his Facebook profile is here). Another Facebook user named Eduard Havel posted the following response: "I would do the same to them as they've done to that police car, then I'd bring a flatbed truck, throw them in there and take it to the landfill as waste."
These Czech Facebook hero-patriots were upset by the video because it purports to show a group of alleged migrants destroying a vehicle supposedly belonging to Italy's carabinieri. Fiala has been repeatedly warned that the video is a fake, but as of mid-August the post was still on his official profile.
"It's not real, but ..."
To Internet users who are more attentive or thoughtful, the footage is suspicious in and of itself, as to the left of the small group of alleged "hooligans" a film crew with a boom microphone and light reflector can be seen. The suspicion that the little scene was staged can be confirmed by a brief online search.
The footage is from the 2015 feature film "Mediterranea". The coproduction enacts the journey of two friends from Burkina Faso to Europe and was screened at the 50th International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary in 2015, for example.
Geller posted a brief non-apology in the style of "this wasn't the truth, but it could have been" when her deception was revealed. "Left-wing propaganda sites and Muslim terrorist unions have a problem with one of the videos I have posted. They say it's not real. The fact is that thousands of videos revealing the violence and destruction committed by Muslim migrants do exist and they spark no reaction," she posted at the time.
That deceptive use of the footage was removed from social media. At the time this article was originally published on 16 August, Fiala's video was still online, but it has been made unavailable to general Facebook users in the meantime.
First published in Czech for the Institute of Independent Journalism (Ústav nezávislé žurnalistiky).
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