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Did millions of Germans abandon their car to protest against fuel price hike?

By Soumadip Dey

Claim: A Picture has been shared on Facebook with the claim that millions of Germans abandoned their cars on the roads against a fuel price hike.

What Happened: A picture has been widely shared on Facebook, claiming Germans are seen standing on the road outside their cars, protesting against a governmental fuel price hike. This picture was posted by a Facebook page named 'Unknown Facts' on the 21st of May, 2018.

Within no time, the post racked up a huge number of shares, well over seventy thousand in the space of a couple of days.

Fact: This particular picture is not from Germany, but is actually of a picture of traffic jam from China in 2012. Many Facebook users made this fact clear in the comments on the picture. However, the picture still remains up on Facebook.

In 2012, this picture was published by The Telegraph, with the tagline stating that this what happens when over a billion people all go on holiday at the same time. This, which is possibly the greatest traffic jam in history, happened because the Chinese government lifted all highway road tolls for a period of a week in October, 2012.

Moreover, since the petroleum industry in Germany is liberal and privatized, the German government does not exert any direct influence on its price, except through indirect taxation.

Conclusion: This picture is another illustration of the real event/false narrative juxtaposition. However, the fact that the picture was quickly debunked by many social media users is encouraging, since a lot of people did not take the image at face value but did their own research instead. Unfortunately, however, many more accepted it as real and shared it widely.


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