Think again when you share photos of the Rohingya conflict
A lot of people in my news feed on Facebook have been sharing links and images of the Rohingya crisis, where Muslims are truly being persecuted by Buddhists in Burma. The humanitarian crisis is real.
Now many of these images have been disturbingly graphic, showing dead bodies of children, mothers hanging from houses, burned bodies scattered in piles – and it has not been a pleasant sight. One truly scarring image even shows a little skinny kid being stood on.
But many of those pictures I’ve seen are actually not what they claim to be, and are not from the Rohingya crisis at all.
“We shouldn’t be gullible”
One photo for example shows Buddhist monks standing among piles of bodies. On Facebook and Twitter, the photograph has been cited as an example of Buddhist violence against Rohingyas. But the picture is not from Burma at all and it was taken after an earthquake in China in 2010.
Another picture shows a man on fire running across the road.
One group who shared the photo on Facebook suggesting the man suffered horrific abuse – that he was chopped up and burnt alive. But the photo is actually of Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan activist who set himself on fire in Delhi in 2012 to protest against the Chinese president’s visit to India.
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Now I’m all for raising awareness about injustice and oppression, but I’m also for truth.
We shouldn’t be gullible. Don’t believe everything you see on the internet and just because someone tells you to ‘Share this image’ doesn’t mean you have to do it without thinking.
By Yasir Mahmood, Bradford.
Have you seen any fake photos? Are fake photos helping raise awareness anyway? Let us know in the comments.