Viral picture of Germans protesting fuel-price hike is of a traffic jam in China

As petrol and diesel prices continue to increase to a record high amidst protests in several states, an image from a Facebook page, India Dekho has also gone viral on social media. It states, “In Germany, within one hour of the government increasing petrol price, everyone left their cars standing on the road and went home. More than one million cars were left on the road and seeing this the government had to reduce prices. If people work wisely then no government can fool the public. Do share (translated).” At the time of writing, this post had been shared more than 19000 times and ‘liked’ more than 14000 times. India Dekho has more than 36 lakh followers on Facebook.

Posted by IndiaDekho on Sunday, 9 September 2018

The same image has been circulated on WhatsApp as well.

Image is from China

Alt News did a Google search, “Germany petrol protest” and found a fact-check article published by Snopes on May 20, 2018. According to the article, the image has been widely circulated on the Internet since 2017 with text depicting it as angry Germans who deserted their cars on the street in wake of a protest against hiked fuel prices.   

An article published in The Telegraph on October 1, 2012 described the image as a traffic jam in Shenzhen city, Guangdong province when for the first time in a decade, China’s motorways were declared toll-free during the eight-day national holiday. “When 1.3 billion people all go on holiday at the same time, a little chaos is perhaps to be expected. But it was a generous decision by Chinese politicians to grant free road travel, by suspending motorway tolls, that saw hundreds of thousands of drivers spend the first day of the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sunday in gridlock.”, stated the article which carries the same photo. Moreover, this image belongs to a photo agency, Rex Features.

According to Rex Features, it was clicked during a traffic deadlock in Shenzhen city, Guangdong province on September 30, 2012.

We also found a news article published by the online portal of Divya Bhaskar on May 23, 2018 which has attached the same photograph. The Divya Bhaskar article describes the anti-fuel protest in Germany in the year 2000.

Germans did protest rising fuel prices by converging on the streets of Berlin with their vehicles in the year 2000 but the claim about a million cars being abandoned is not true and the image is from China.

This image resurfaces time and again on social media despite being debunked earlier by multiple fact-checking outlets including SMHoaxslayer and BoomLive.

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