A Bangladeshi independent fact-checking initiative, 'BD FactCheck' have been publishing their findings on various claims made on Bangladeshi Facebook community for a long time. Here is a list of four of the 'fake news' they dug out this week.
Fake news story claims Mufti Mamunul Haque sexually harassed a male student
On December 1, Bangladeshi social mediasphere was flooded with a claim that a Madrasa student accused Mufti Mamunul Haque, a Hefazat-e-Islami leader who was recently in news for his role in the anti-sculpture movement, of sexually harassing him. Some online portals carried the claim as 'news rapport'.
BD FactCheck traced the origin of the claim, which turned out to be false, to a blog named 'prothomalo100.blogspot.com'.
The blog post titled 'Hefazat leader Mufti Mamunul Haque was accused of raping a Madrasa student' was actually a fabricated version of another news published on 6 October this year titled 'Madrasa teacher used to rape male student forcing him to take sedatives'.
The original article reported an incident of a local Madarasa in Narayanganj involving a perpetrator named 'Shahidullah'. The blog post plagiarised the report but changed the actual names of places and characters to falsely relate them with Mufti Mamunul Haque.
Rani Mukherji did not say 'Muhammad (PBUH) is the 'best human being on earth'
News published in some Bangla online portals claimed that Bollywood star Rani Mukherji said 'Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) is the best human being on the earth'. The source of the alleged statement was attributed to a Twitter account with her name.
It turned out to be a false statement upon investigating by 'BD FactCheck' team. Though the false statement was reproduced in some Bangla websites in the last week, it was first reported in 2016 by some Indian websites.
Later many of those published it removed the related news stories with apologies. During a buzz in 2017 centring a similar false statement made on a different issue by that same Twitter handle, Rani Mukherji's office issued a statement debunking it.
According to India Today, the actual Twitter handle said, "This is to reiterate that Rani Mukerji is not on any social media platform and has never been in the past. There are several imposters who are operating various handles in her name, so we request you to disregard the same."
Edited photo of Pele mourning holding Maradona's gravestone is indeed fake
A photograph that had gone viral on social media platforms purportedly showed another living legend of soccer Pele rushed to Maradona's graveyard and was mourning his friend's death holding the gravestone in one hand while a wreath of flowers is on his other hand.
In some Bangladeshi Facebook groups, the photo gained huge attention and was viewed as one of best photographs of the 21st century!
However, BD FactCheck found the photo was edited from an old photograph that was shot on a different occasion and featured a different person.
The original photo was taken from www.istockphoto.com, a professional photo selling website.