The Most Potent American Export: The Social Media Violence System

November 29, 2021

The United States is not the country affected by social media. The Interpreter shares how religious minorities in Bangladesh are harmed when misinformation spreads via social media: “Minorities Under Attack In Bangladesh.” Bangladesh’s major religion is Islam with various minorities, including Buddhism and Hindu. The country is described as religiously tolerant compared to its neighbors.

Unfortunately rumors spread over Facebook that the Quran was desecrated during the Hindu Durga Puja festival. Buddhist and Hindu temples and holy sites were attacked, while seven people were killed. Bangladesh authorities arrested a man who claimed to have left a copy of the Quran at the festival. This is not the first time violence prompted by social media occurred:

“However, almost every year since 2012 religious minorities have been attacked somewhere in Bangladesh after online posts promulgating false allegations. The pattern runs like this: rumors begin within a local community that people from a minority background have defamed Islam, and such orchestrated “fake news” quickly spreads online to incite violence against minorities.”

Violence in Bangladesh stems from three factors: growing fear in the Islamic majority of atheism and blasphemy, growing supranational Muslin and Hindu identities, religious minority attacks are actually attempts to stem Hindu land.

Social media in Bangladesh is used as a propaganda tool to fuel prejudice and fear amongst its people. It is unfortunate that all religions in Bangladesh are victims of social media misinformation. Mob mentally runs rampant on social media and it is not any different from other violence that stems from newspapers, TVs, or radios. Social media just spreads it faster.

Whitney Grace, November 29, 2021


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