The Kissing Canard

Canoodling couples can heave a sigh of relief: The Wiener Linien will not fine kissing lovers on Vienna’s public transport system. In September, the Wiener Linien made headlines across Europe as the online news service, Vienna Times, and the British daily newspaper, the Daily Mail, both falsely reported that the company would introduce a €50 fine for kissing.

Contrary to these reports, kissing was neither banned on the public transport system nor will it be subject to any fines.

After conducting a survey into passengers’ pet peeves, the Wiener Linien attempted to inspire better manners and launched a €250,000 campaign on 16 September. The slogan: Mach was du willst, aber bitte nicht hier (Do as you like, but please not here), points out that overly amorous smooching, loud phone conversations, pungent takeaways and even picking your nose are all examples of behaving insensitively. Simply put, passengers should be more considerate.

But according to the Austrian daily, Der Standard, the story was “spiced up” to receive more attention and became a tabloid story published in the boulevard daily Österreich. The story made its rounds and got picked up by the Daily Mail and the Vienna Times. Without further crosschecking, the canard was reprinted.

The good news is, lovers don’t have to worry. No fines for public displays of affection. But if you want more, it’s better to get a room.

Kussverbot - Gibt's Kans (Kissing Ban - Nonexistent) | Photo:  Wiener Linien Facebook

Kussverbot – Gibt’s Kans (Kissing Ban – Nonexistent) | Photo: Wiener Linien Facebook

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