Online response to Stanislav Tomáš's death includes hoaxes shared in the Czech Romani community
A photograph that purports to show an expression of condolences to Stanislav Tomáš, who died after police intervened against him on 19 June, has been shared more than a thousand times among Romani users of Facebook. The accompanying text falsely alleges the photograph is from England and that it shows the beginning of a sports match where an enormous Romani flag is being held by players on the field.
The image is a fake, or more precisely, it is a photograph that has been altered using an application that allows users to insert any photograph in place of the flag. "England expresses condolences to the young Romani gentleman murdered by the Police of the Czech Republic, stop racism!" one Facebook user has written on Facebook in association with the image.
In reality this is a photograph from the opening of the Super Bowl in the USA, the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), and by using the PhotoFunia application it is possible to insert any photograph into the space of the flag that actually was held by players on the field during the game. "One of the biggest sporting events, in terms of TV viewer numbers, is the NFL’s Super Bowl, which draws over 120 million people worldwide. To mark the grand event the organizers usually stage excellent entertainment which includes live concerts, cheerleader performances and parades with huge flags. Now imagine that the enormous flag is adorned with a picture of you or someone you know in a spotlight for all to see. With the help of PhotoFunia you can replace the flag with your own picture in just a few seconds," the description for this particular feature reads.
The photograph with the Romani flag on the field is not depicting something that actually happened. These other photographs show how easy it is to fake such an image.
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