Recently, a hoax that is several years old has been spreading on the Czech Internet again, claiming that Romani residents of Most get free public transport, free access to the municipal swimming pool, and free taxi service covered by the municipality. The chain e-mails are not only wrong, but also very dangerous, according to Most officials, because they contribute to escalating social tensions.
“There is no special benefit covering the entrance fee to the swimming pool or taxis. All children under the age of 15 and all seniors over the age of 65 ride public transport for free in Most, so they are eligible to do so by their age In addition, since January 2012 the City of Most no longer disburses social benefits according to any parameter, because as part of the public administration’s reorganization, that activity was transferred to Labor Offices,” said Mayor Jan Paparega, adding that the city is also not buying anybody refrigerators or washing machines.
“People forward these e-mails to each other, share them, and unfortunately many even fall for them,” the city said in a press release. This is not the first time such nonsense has spread on the Czech Internet.
Similar hoaxes have been spreading here for many years. In 2019, disinformation spread in the north of Bohemia, specifically in Ústí nad Labem.
In 2014, Most’s Technical Services had to refute allegations that Roma were being given free entry to the municipal swimming pool. The same rumor spread in 2010 in Havířov.