Fake news: We see it all over our televisions, in the paper and on the web. The line between journalism and other content has blurred, making it more important than ever for all to verify the facts. The Business Standard is supporting BD FactCheck to publish the real information on the top two fake news that went viral this week.
False claims on social media centring Sajeeb Wazed's Facebook post
The ICT advisor to the Prime Minister, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, posted a photo of Time magazine cover from January 17, 1972 on his verified Facebook page where Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was featured, along with a title of "Sheik Mujibur Rahman- Bangladesh: From Jail To Power." Soon after his post, a section of netizens started claiming on Facebook that the cover page Sajeeb Wazed posted is 'not real' as they did not find a copy of it on TIME Magazine's website. They were also presenting a web link showing TIME magazine cover from the same date where two Su- per Bowl players were featured. BD FactCheck found that the propagation is baseless.
The cover of two players was from the US edition of the magazine that week in 1972. Joy posted the cover of International Edition of the magazine. At present, Time magazine publishes four editions simultaneously around the globe, namely the US edition, Europe, Middle East and Africa edition, Asia edition and South Pacific edition. Back then in 1972, it had a US edition and an International edition. As TIME's US edition's web-archive is up to date and other editions' are under development, only the US edition's cover page on 17 January, 1972 is currently available on its website. BD FactCheck collected a print version of TIME magazine of that issue and independently confirmed that Sajeeb Wazed posted the real cover of the weekly's international edition on that date.
False and misleading information about vaccination gone viral
A particular religious sermon video went viral in social media, propagating several false and misleading claims on covid-19 vaccination trial and rollout initiative. In the video, Mufti Kazi Ibrahim, one of the prominent religious speakers in Bangladesh, claimed that covid-19 vaccination program is a way of 'pushing' microchips into the human body for tracking purposes. BD FactCheck debunked the claim as it was a widely circulated misinformation based on unsubstantiated sources and manipulated videos. News outlets like Reuters, AFP and BBC also debunked the falsehood lately.
Also in the video, Kazi Ibrahim propagated misleading claims about vaccine trials in the UK and India. BD FactCheck found Mr Ibrahim misquoted Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro to claim that Covid-19 vaccines are turning men into bearded women with an effeminate voice. Actually, Bolsonaro did not say vaccines are causing such changes in the human body. Instead he, as an anti-vaxxer, warned people about Pfizer's vaccines in a recent bizarre statement saying "In the Pfizer contract it's very clear: 'we're not responsible for any side effects.' If you turn into a crocodile, it's your problem." Bolsonaro added, "If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they will not have anything to do with it," referring to the drug manufacturers. Kazi Ibrahim took Bolsonar's bizarre warning (to demotivate people) as 'real information' of men being turned into women.