Minhaj Aman

Research-Lead, Dismislab
How old pictures have been used to show long queues of voters
This article is more than 4 months old

How old pictures have been used to show long queues of voters

Minhaj Aman

Research-Lead, Dismislab

Today, on January 7 (Sunday), several old photos have been circulated on Facebook, focusing on the 12th National Assembly elections. In order to show long queues of voters in this election, pictures taken during the previously held local government or parliamentary by-elections have been used.

For example, a photo was posted by a Facebook page called Gaibandha Gazette around 9 am today. The picture shows long lines of voters and the image was captioned,“Festive atmosphere for vote in Gaibandha, long queue of voters…”. But upon verification, the picture was revealed to be of Gaibandha Union Parishad election which was published on November 28, 2021 by an online news portal called Shomoyer Alo.

In another picture posted on the same page claimed, “Women voters flock to vote in Gaibandha 5 constituency in the morning”. However, a search turned up that this is the picture of Gaibandha-5 (Phulchari-Saghata) vacant seat by-election, which was published on 4 January last year by Shomoy TV online. 

It is worth mentioning that the number of followers of this page, Gaibandha Gazette, is about 2 lac 60 thousand. It was opened in November 2018.

Similarly, a news article published in an online portal called The Daily Bangladesh was titled, “Voters queues being long even in winter morning“. 

A picture accompanying the news showed long queues of voters. The caption says that the picture is of the 12th National Assembly elections and also mentions the date as January 7.

The same picture has been published on two other online portals titled respectively, “Voters’ queues are getting long even in winter morning” and “Voters’ lines are getting long”. But verification has revealed that this is also the picture of the Union Parishad election held in 2021. At that time (28 November 2021) the picture had been posted on the website of the Dhaka Post.

According to the latest information, the Election Commission (EC) has notified that 40 percent votes had been cast in the 12th National Assembly elections across the country. The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) added that this number may increase or decrease later on.
There are examples of spreading misinformation in the past using old pictures and videos focusing on various political gatherings or protests and programs. For example, several old photos were seen to be spread with new context focusing on the government-anti government party’s counter rally on 28 and 29 July of last year.