Robi, the second largest mobile network operator in Bangladesh, apologised days after receiving backlash for their "unintentional mistake" over a photo mishap of a grand scale.
The 122nd birthday of the National Poet of Bangladesh, Kazi Nazrul Islam, was observed in the country on 25 May. On the occasion, Robi also made a post paying tribute to the legendary poet on 27 May, two days after the celebrations. However, the telco giant used a picture of another great Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore.
The post immediately received a tonne of backlash.
The granddaughter of the poet, Khilkhil Kazi, shared on her Facebook account that the family will take legal action against Robi. She wrote, "Robi should leave Bangladesh. Those who do not know the National Poet of Bangladesh Kazi Nazrul Islam have no right to stay in this country. Condemn Robi. Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and Poet Rabindranath Tagore were both insulted. We are going to take legal action on behalf of the family."
Khilkhil Kazi also shared a screenshot of the initial post made by Robi with a timestamp that says 6hr, meaning the post with the wrong picture was up for at least 6 hours. Shouldn't a company with such a diverse network be able to remove the post within such a long time?
Zoya Sneha Ahmed, great-granddaughter of Kazi Nazrul Islam shared, "Should I be shedding some light on the fact that why this acknowledgement of the mistake has been made? I'm sure everyone applauding this "acknowledgement of error" post doesn't know what and how your authority tried to hide this fact. By giving this post definitely gets up your brand value, but I think everyone should know why this has been done and the ways authorities from your end tried to hide this issue."
"This should have been done the day it was posted, not after 3 days, then why this sudden apologetic post? Everyone makes mistakes, but to find ways to hide your mistakes from such a renowned corporate company is not acceptable. Coming from the poet's family, I am disheartened and heavily disappointed by the fact how you needed calls to make this post. Our family has worked with Robi before, someone from your organization could have reached us directly, and not due to pressure from external sources. Robi I hope this makes sense," she added.
Robi posted their apology three days after the incident, it read, "We are extremely sorry. Our concerned agency posted a wrong picture with a post from Robi's page on 25 May for the birthday of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. We seek your forgiveness for this unintentional mistake. We removed the post as soon as we noticed it."
This is problematic, as a "mistake" of this scale should have been amended as soon as possible. Why wait three days to apologise for a mistake that was "unintentional"?
And with all the comments under their post which echo "to err is human" sentiment, it may get unnoticed that not all the comments can be seen under the post. It very well may be that Robi is regulating the comment section and only keeping the positive ones.
The Business Standard contacted Khilkhil Kazi after Robi posted the apology. She said that the family has not accepted the apology and will be proceeding with legal action.
Khilkhil Kazi told TBS, "The apology came after pressuring them for days, they did not apologise willingly. The post had to have been approved by several people before they posted it on their page. How do all of these people not know who the National Poet of Bangladesh is or who Rabindranath Tagore is? How could they approve this? We are in the process of filing a defamation case against Robi."