Coronavirus-related HOAX in the Czech language alleges USA is moving troops to Europe
The Romani community and others in the Czech Republic are sharing a hoax associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic by e-mail and social media. The main article being shared is entitled "In the shadow of the coronavirus: USA transfers enormous number of troops, airplanes and tanks to Europe" ("Ve stínu koronaviru: USA přesouvá do Evropy obrovské množství vojáků, letadel a tanků").
The article containing various false insinuations was published by the Arfa.cz disinformation website. The manipulatori.cz news server, which monitors such content in the Czech environment, has reported on the hoax.
List of the main Czech disinformation themes about the COVID-19 pandemic:
- allegations that it is associated with the "elites" supposed need to "reformat" the world
- allegations that the "rotten" EU is "intentionally" inactive at this time
- accusations that the Government of the Czech Republic and the public broadcasters Czech Radio and Czech Television are causing an "artificial" panic
- speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with migration
- speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with the introduction of 5G networks
- speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic is a biological weapon developed in the West
- speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic is being disseminated by allied soldiers from the USA during their movements as part of military exercises
A similarly false report has also been published by the Communist Youth Union (KSM) in the Czech Republic, deceptively alleging that "Tens of thousands of American soldiers are disembarking in Europe, including in Italy and Germany, and planning to march through Europe without face masks, but governments are not protesting." The reality is that NATO's "Defender-Europe 20" military exercises, which were announced by the authorities in advance, are what is being deceptively misidentified as somehow alarming by these manipulative communications.
Because of the situation around the dissemination of the COVID-19 infection, U.S. European Command had actually announced that it would be reducing the number of those participating in the exercise, and just today the Stars and Stripes newspaper reported that The Pentagon has ordered a halt to the deployment of forces for the NATO exercise. The Czech Army and Czech Defense Ministry are also cancelling all of their public events for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus, including events commemorating the anniversary of the Czech Republic joining NATO, and military schools in the Czech Republic are also closed along with all other educational institutions.
The Arfa.cz disinformation website, run by Ondřej Höppner, and the KSM's disinformation website are presenting photographs that are at least three weeks old as "evidence" of their claims. At the time the photographs were taken, naturally, the US Army could not have suspected to what extent the situation in Europe would deteriorate.
The photographs are of military bases in the USA. It is not, therefore, certain that most of the technical equipment in the photos was ever intended to be unloaded in Europe in the first place.
In the Czech context, another "star" in the disinformation media scene to be aware of is a "military expert" named Martin Koller. The civic association "Czech Elves" (Čeští elfové) has also published a review of other online hoaxes being disseminated throughout the Czech Republic in association with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- European Roma are sharing an online hoax from 2002 about poisonous cosmetic samples
- Antigypsyist hoax returns to Czech Internet alleging that Roma get free public transportation
- Absurd hoax continues to spread that Roma NGOs want Czech Television series cancelled
- HOAX: Romani actor allegedly "forbidden" by NGO to use the word "gypsy"
- Czech politician spreads hateful racist hoaxes online against dark-skinned footballers, Muslims and Roma
- Another Czech-language Internet hoax gives false, sectarian, xenophobic interpretation to video of riot
- Czech online tabloids recycling long-debunked antigypsyist hoaxes alleging Roma get free transportation, washing machines
- 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 Republic: Anti-Romani politician spreads hoax that Roma are bilking the state - through lightbulbs
- 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
- Mayor and police in Czech town correct the record about assault incident to make clear Romani people were not involved as first alleged
- Czech social media response to tornado includes antigypsyist rushes to judgment about Romani workers
- Online response to Stanislav Tomáš's death includes hoaxes shared in the Czech Romani community
- Jaroslav Miko: Vaccination doesn't just protect you, it protects us all
- Commentary: Czech PM fishing for votes in a racist/xenophobic pond
- Local Communist Party cell in Czech Republic posts antigypsyist defamation to official website, party apologizes
- ROMEA TV program discusses current COVID-19 disinformation and hoaxes on the Czech Internet
- The disinformation pandemic: Who are the Czech "anti-maskers", and could they seize power?
- Czech Internet flooded with fake news alleging parasites are infesting items now mandated by the Government, such as antigen tests
- Director of Czech-Roma NGO posts photos and video in effort to show that mandatory respirators are not "infested with parasites" as hoaxes claim
- Czech nurse expresses frustration with those denying COVID-19 and spreading disinformation: People are dying of this here!
- Czech MP protesting measures to stem COVID-19 pandemic is a trafficker in poverty with a history of anti-Romani racism