The online world is full of useful information that we can use in our daily lives. At the same time, fake news is also prone to spreading. This is why it never hurts to do a fact-check before sharing something you see online as it can create unnecessary panic for others.
Just like in this circulating photos right now which supposedly shows money in the form of bills being “thrown” by people in Italy amidst the health emergency the whole world is facing. The money was reportedly “thrown” as they no longer hold value because everyone is in quarantine.
As it turns out, those photos are in fact, money but they are not taken from Italy and much more not because of the health crisis they are facing.
According to Snopes, the said photos were taken in Venezuela and the money was not thrown because it was worthless but because it was replaced by a new currency.
Venezuela’s economy has experienced a collapsing stage that began in 2013. This slow collapse has been attributed to many factors which include plunging oil prices, government corruption, political unrest, and socialist policies. This later resulted in hyperinflation and has greatly devalued Venezuela’s currency.
The money shown lying in the gutter in the pictures is Venezuela’s old currency, the Bolívar Fuerte, which was replaced by a new form of currency, the Bolivar Soberano, in August 2018. When the Bolivar Soberano was introduced, Bolívar Fuerte currency in amounts less than 1,000 ceased to be legal tender, and Bolivar Fuerte currency in all amounts was completely withdrawn on 5 December 2018.
Hence the discarded money seen here was literally worthless not because it had no value, because it had been completely replaced by a newer currency and was no longer legal tender.
Additionally, according to CNN, Venezuela issued a new currency in an attempt to bolster its crumbling economy as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that inflation could hit one million percent in the year 2020.
This is an example of how one post can mislead millions of people in the social media world. So, the next time you see a piece of captivating news, be sure to verify it first so that you can share the correct information with your loved ones and not create unnecessary panic at the same time.