Sunday, July 21, 2024

Deep Fake Video Claims DB Chief Harunor Rashid Advised Against Going to Polling Stations for Voting

A video allegedly featuring comments by DB Chief Harunor Rashid about not attending polling stations has been widely shared on the internet. The video claims that Mr. Harun, the head of the Detective Branch (DB) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), advised people against going to the polling stations. This video has been circulating since January 5th, particularly in relation to Bangladesh’s 12th National Election, as observed by the Rumor Scanner Team.

In the video, an individual resembling Mr. Harun appears to say, “My mother Sheikh Hasina is a liar. She herself discourages going to polling stations. Furthermore, she orders the arrest of BNP members who boycott the vote, labeling it unconstitutional. What a difficult situation we are in. Please observe a strike all day on the 7th. No one should visit polling stations that day.”

 DB Chief Harunor Rashid

The video was shared with a caption claiming, “She once called for a vote boycott herself. Then, she regarded it as a very democratic right. However, when the opposition echoes the same sentiment, she deems it unconstitutional and orders their arrest. The people have rejected her hypocrisy. Strongly boycott the dishonest election on the 7th. There is no other way to save our country.”

See related Facebook posts here (archive), here (archive), here (archive), here (archive). 

Fact Check

Upon investigation by the Rumor Scanner Team, it was discovered that DB Chief Harun did not make any statements regarding avoiding polling stations, and the video in question is not authentic. A photograph from Harun’s Facebook page was altered using digital technology to create this video and promote the false narrative.

At the onset of our investigation, we conducted a reverse image search on a key frame from the video and found a photo on the official Facebook page of Harun Or Rashid. The clothing and accessories in the photo closely matched those of Harun in the video.

Comparison: Rumor Scanner 

Recent activities on Mr. Harun’s page were also examined. He regularly posts pictures and videos of his daily activities. Nonetheless, his recent videos did not match the content or appearance of the individual in the deep fake video. In his recent videos, he is not seen wearing the attire depicted in the fabricated video.

Further searches with various keywords were carried out to determine if any media outlets had reported on this alleged statement. No relevant news was found in any media source.

In essence, this high-ranking police officer has become a victim of deep fake technology.
Deep fakes are highly realistic yet counterfeit or slightly modified contents, created by digitally editing video or audio elements. They use AI technology to convincingly alter a person’s facial features or voice with someone else’s. This technology enables the creation of video or audio content showing a person making statements or performing actions they never actually did.

Bottom Line

The 12th National Parliament election is being held on January 7. A widely circulated video falsely claims that Harun Or Rashid, the head of the DB of DMP, stated, “Observe a strike all day on the 7th. No one should go to polling stations.” However, the Rumor Scanner investigation confirmed that he never made such a comment. Instead, a photo from Harun’s Facebook page was manipulated to produce this false claim.

So, the widely spread claim that Harun Or Rashid, the head of the DB of DMP, made a comment, “Observe a strike all day on the 7th. No one should go to polling stations,” through a video, is false.


RS Team
Rumor Scanner Fact-Check Team
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