A Brussels bus has made a buzz on social networks after Twitter user John Hyphen shared a message with dubious information. Hyphen’s post asserted that the bus was headed to a mysterious destination (mystère is the French word for mystery), and that public transport in Brussels is free. Both assertions are false. STIB/MVIB offers free rides for: children under 12, people belonging to a specific group including residents on minimum income, some seniors, the blind and people accompanying them. According to Belgian news outlet VRT, the ‘Mystère’ stop (Mysterie in Dutch) is on the Victor Rousseaulaan in Vorst (Brussels) near the Mysteriestraat/Rue du Mystère
A day later, his tweet had been viewed more than 6.3 million times. The message also quickly spread to other social media outlets, such as Reddit, where it was not infrequently believed to be true. As of today, it has 121k likes, 8 million views and 12.4 retweets.
Meanwhile, user John Hyphen uploaded an image to his Twitter feed showing people calling him a “Misinformation King”. Hyphen seemed to accept and appreciate the title.
Although intended as satire, many people believed the message. The channel on Twitter reported that “readers have added context they think people might want to know.”
Some Twitter users who did see the humor in the post responded with photos of buses with at least equally curious destinations. According to VRT, one reader reported that he almost got on a bus in Geneva with destination “Bout-du-Monde” and yet another recommended a bus in Lyon with stop “Sans Souci.”