A troll went viral on social media quoting a statement by Telecommunication Minister, Mustafa Jabbar, that there are 18 crore internet users in Bangladesh, while the total population of Bangladesh is 16 crore. The claim went viral after the census report 2022. According to the preliminary report of census and house enumeration, the population of the country is 16 crore 51 lakh.
(Screenshot from Facebook post)
In order to investigate the claim, we searched for the keyword “Mustafa Jabbar 18 crore internet user” on Google search engine. Search revealed Telecom Minister Jabbar gave a speech by presenting the main article entitled ‘Bangladesh National Digital Strategy and Practice ‘ in Huawei Asia Pacific Digital Innovation Congress-2022 conference held in Singapore on 19th May 2022.
(Screenshot from HUAWEI website)
During his speech he did not give any statement regarding the number of internet users in Bangladesh. Telecom minister Mustafa Jabar in an interview with News Bangla 24 also clarified that “The news which is now going viral was misquoted at that time. At that event I made it clear that the number of mobile users in the country is over 18 crores, not internet users.”
Misinformation/ False Context
Our fact-check confirmed that the viral claim is shared in a false context, misquoting the statement of the telecommunication minister.
- ABCDE Framework-Based Analysis
|Actor||Independent social media accounts are spreading disinformation.|
|Behavior||Telecommunication Minister’s statements are twisted and shared on social media.|
|Content||Social Media posts; mainly on Facebook.|
|Degree||Mustafa Jabar’s statement was twisted, telephone subscription or mobile subscribers’ figures were replaced with internet users’ number in Bangladesh.|
|Effect||The Telecommunication minister was trolled for his statement. He later clarified his stance in an interview with national TV.|