Fatema Tabasum

Fellow, Dismislab
Maharashtra enforces ban on jeans and t-shirts for teachers, not Bangladesh

Maharashtra enforces ban on jeans and t-shirts for teachers, not Bangladesh

Fatema Tabasum

Fellow, Dismislab

Some Bangladeshi media outlets and Facebook users have circulated claims (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) that ‘Wearing Jeans and T-shirts Banned for Teachers in Educational Institutions.’ However, Dismislab’s verification has revealed that this information did not originate from Bangladesh but from the Indian state of Maharashtra instead. Many Facebook users in Bangladesh are sharing this information under the assumption of Bangladesh government directives (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). The absence of a specific location mentioned in some media headlines caused the misunderstanding.

Upon verification, it was observed that Facebook users (1, 2, 3, 4) directly shared the link, or screenshot of  the report, found on the Daily Janakantha news portal. The report was published on their website at 10:18 pm on March 16. A little over an hour later, at 11:33 pm, Somoyer Konthosor published the same report on their website with an identical headline: “Wearing Jeans and T-shirts Banned for Teachers in Educational Institutions”. None of the media outlets mentioned in their headlines that the directive originated from Indian authorities, not from Bangladesh. Consequently, netizens have been seen sharing the confusing headline as a post.

The headline was shared from a Facebook page with 63,000 followers, named Education News, and from a Facebook group of almost 2,65,000 members, named Bangladesh Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board

As of the time of writing this report, the post on the Education News page has garnered 2,100 reactions and has been shared 84 times. Despite a comment on the page indicating that the news originates from India, many Facebook users overlooked this detail. Consequently, numerous users have shared or posted only the headline ‘Wearing Jeans and T-shirts Banned for Teachers in Educational Institutions’, without specifying the news’ origin or location.

1,700 users reacted to the post of Bangladesh Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board Facebook Group, and it attracted 160 comments.

In a group named “Dainik Shikkha,” a Facebook user named Mohammed Ramjan Ali posted the headline as information, which had been shared 426 times, 2,202 users reacted to the post, and it has 230 comments in it.

Some users also added hashtags to their posts, such as “#Bangladesh” or “#Bangladesh #Shikkhaboard.” 

The Daily Janakantha report titled “Wearing Jeans and T-shirts Banned for Teachers in Educational Institutions” added, “ Male and Female teachers can no longer wear jeans and T-shirts in educational institutions. Recently, the government of Maharashtra in India has issued a new dress code. A directive has also been issued”- as an introduction. Somoyer Konthosor copied the headline as well as the whole news.

ZoomBangla’s report didn’t mention India either. 3,800 users reacted to Zoom Bangla’s post on Facebook. It has also been shared 244 times.

Dismislab found the original news article on the website of Maharashtra Times, an Indian media outlet.

According to the Media Research and Advocacy organization ‘First Draft‘, the use of catchy language in the headline of news, with the hope of getting more clicks, is clickbait, where the essence of the original news does not match the headline. This has happened in the case of this news. Without mentioning the location, it is implied that the directive is applicable to teachers in Bangladesh. That is why many have used tags like “#Bangladesh” or simply “#Bangladesh #Shikkhaboard” considering the news applicable to Bangladesh.

Using the same headline, both Zoom Bangla and Somoyer Konthosor have published two photocards as well. Photocards are often used to promote clickbait headlines.