Recently, a picture of a notification signed by an official of Krishi Bank from multiple IDs has been posted on the social media site Facebook, where it is written that the red note of 1000 BDT will become obsolete after May 30, 2022. However, BOOM Bangladesh (A fact checking organization in Bangladesh) has verified that the claim is completely fabricated and baseless.
If the picture of the notice given in the post is checked, it can be seen that it has been circulated with the signature of an official of Bangladesh Agricultural Bank. But only Bangladesh Bank has the authority to issue all banknotes except the government currency in Bangladesh.
Photo: a picture of the notice stating “note of 1000 BDT will become obsolete after May 30, 2022” posted by a Facebook account named ‘Mehedi Hasan’.
Photo: Another Facebook post by a Facebook account named ‘Faruqe Ahmed’ asking notification from Bangladesh Bank to verify whether the note cancellation notification is true.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has brushed aside as simply a rumour the news that the Tk 1,000 bank red note or any other note has been scrapped.
“Bangladesh Bank (BB) has not declared red note of Taka 1000 or any other note as obsolete. Accordingly, the public is being requested not to be taken into account of such rumours or misleading information,” read a BB press release on 11 May 2022.
|Prime Actor:Social Media accounts, creator of the content not identified||Intent: Suggests aspersive behaviour||“Bangladesh Bank will withdraw red-coloured banknotes of Tk 1,000 denomination.”|
Harm: The content misinformed people about cancellation of 1000 BDT banknote which raised concerns among many.
Truthfulness: The content was fake and fabricated.
Narrative(s): The content is aligned with the disinformation narrative.
|Audience:People in general in Bangladesh |
|Human rights:Right to information.|
ABCDE Framework Analysis:
It was several Facebook accounts on Facebook that posted and shared the said fabricated notification. Even though BOOM Bangladesh and Bangladesh Bank have verified the content to be false and fabricated, the actual creator behind the content was not identified.
The said notification was proved to be fabricated by BOOM Bangladesh. Hence, the behaviour suggests aspersive intent to mislead and deceive people.
The banking watchdog urged people not to pay any heed to such rumour or fake information. “This is a completely fake information,” said Md Serajul Islam, spokesperson of the Bangladesh Bank, regarding the fake notice circulated in the social media. The content misled people in general about the said banknote. The content published was verified by BOOM Bangladesh to be fake and fabricated.
The target audience was people in general in Bangladesh. Facebook was used to disseminate the content on a wide scale without any verification to its truth.
The contents threaten people’s right to information.
The Case has been identified as incident of disinformation because the content shows evidence of deliberately deceptive behaviour through creation of fabricated notification and signature about cancellation of 1000 BDT banknote on Facebook to deceive people and cause economic confusion and concerns among people.
The media’s role in combating disinformation and fake news is more crucial than ever, with an increasing flood of misleading material designed to mislead the public. However, in Bangladesh, we have seen a disheartening phenomenon in which some mainstream media outlets have amplified misinformation rather than opposing it. Many people may find it offensive, yet a segment of the media has been contributing to the spread of misinformation online. Along with mainstream channels, numerous social media accounts contribute significantly to misinforming people who lack expertise of fact checking and are susceptible to trusting such content. It is hoped that tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter have turned against false news publishers, penalizing them harshly. Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program temporarily restricted the reach and revenue of some Bangladeshi media sites and Facebook accounts, and the initiative is just expanding.