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Fake news stirring the Rohingya crisis

  • Published at 01:45 pm September 10th, 2017

The Rohingya crisis is a real, legitimate concern for the world. But attempts to stir up emotions, both for and against the Rohingya, are frequently circulating in the form of misleading photos and videos. The Myanmar government has dismissed allegations of genocide and pillage by the army while refusing journalists entry to Rakhine. The photographs, which are extremely brutal and provocative, are  and many of them are fake, taking the place to spread falsehoods as number of authentic photographs  which show the real scale of brutality is rare. The photographs are not doctored, with most of them authenticated by BBC and the Guardian, but the context in which they are being used is false and inflammatory. The captions accompanying them are but propaganda in a conflict.
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A picture circulated from Myanmar claims to show insurgents training, which is actually a photograph of freedom fighters during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. In June 2011, the Times of India published a photograph of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka that depicted Sri Lanka Army (SLA) forces executing Tamil Tigers. The same picture is being circulated claiming Myanmar armed forces are killing the Rohingyas.
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Old photographs of the July 2014 communal violence in Myanmar showed Buddhist monks torturing Rohingya men. The same photo on Twitter is being reused to fan the fires of violence today. A photograph titled “Murder in Mexico” which could not be verified as authentic or fake,  uploaded by a Mexican site in 2010 has been circulating now as a photograph of Myanmar. A photo of several men on their knees with soldiers holding weapons to their head and dead bodies at their feet is passing itself off as a photograph of the Myanmar violence. The same photo was used in a May 2010 post with the caption “Murder in Mexico.” Numerous Facebook pages, groups, individuals, and Twitter accounts are persistently disseminating these images to rile up the already explosive state. On August 29, a Facebook page going by the name of Turkey President Erdogan uploaded a number of photographs claiming to show the horrors of the Rohingya crisis. One shows people floating in a waterbody, which is originally from a recent flood in Nepal.
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Another shows charred carcasses of people, which is from July 2010 when an oil tanker exploded in Congo, killing 230 people. A 2010 picture of Buddhist monks in China preparing to cremate the bodies of earthquake victims is being circulated as slaying Rohingyas. A scene from a 2013 Nepalese movie on World War 2 titled “Shirish Ko Phool” has been circulating to show a child getting breast milk from his dead mother. The posts are doing more to fan the flames of violence than address the acute crisis in the region. The war, taken to social media, sees both sides attack each other virtually with photographs and videos. Misleading and false news have always played a part in escalating the Rohingya conflicts almost every year. The same photos make rounds over and over again, with news outlets debunking the same photo at least once a year.