Monday, 6 February, 2023
E-paper

Rumours, fake news rule internet in 2022

A vested quarter used information technology and social media to spread rumours and misinformation against the government throughout the year.

Through exploiting religious sentiment or creating fake news about financial uncertainty, the vested quarter tried their hardest to succeed.

Common people are the ones who suffered the most from misinformation spread to embarrass the government.  

The digital age has spread to villages and towns. Smartphones and internet connections have become more accessible, and people are enjoying the benefits. However, people are also misusing this technology. Crimes are on the rise, especially on the internet.

A financial rumour was one of the most damaging rumours of the year. Following rumours that a bank would go bankrupt, many customers withdrew their deposits. It negatively affected the economy, and these rumours spread throughout the country and abroad. The central bank had to step in to normalize the situation.

There were rumours that the country would be like Sri Lanka. However, the situation didn't turn out that way. IMF loan approval broke the cycle of rumours. A rumour about the price of daily essentials caused a price hike, affecting common people.

The Padma Bridge was also surrounded by rumours before it was inaugurated. These rumours claimed that the toll plaza would not work, that traffic jams would be permanent on connecting roads, and that the capital would come to a standstill. However, the Padma Bridge became operational by defying these rumours.

The efforts to defame the dream project continued even after the inauguration. A young man was arrested after attempts were made to spread panic by loosening the nut-bolt of the bridge.

Rumours about religion were constantly being spread. On June 18, a Hindu teacher was forced to wear a garland of shoes in the presence of the police on false charges of blasphemy. In the end, he was not found guilty in that case.

There is a lot of misinformation spreading on social media about the exclusion of religious studies from the new curriculum. A political party also issued a statement about it. The Curriculum Board, however, has not decided to exclude religious education.

It caused a storm on social media when the mother of Moriom Mannan, a student at a private university, disappeared. The police rescued him, and police suspect Rahima Begum left her home because of some family feud.

According to a rumour circulating on social media, if one does not cultivate private land, it will turn into khas land. It was clarified by the then Cabinet Secretary that that was not the case.

Unless verified, digital media information shouldn't be trusted, experts said.