New Delhi, March 30: A post is going viral on WhatsApp that any message or news related to coronavirus cannot be sent in groups on the instant-messaging app. The post, which is going viral, claims sending coronavirus-related post and news will invite action against all group members, including the administrator. Since the post is being widely shared, the Press Bureau of India (PIB) did a fact-check and dismissed the message as fake news. Coronavirus Lockdown in India: Violators, Rumour-Mongers May Face Imprisonment Upto Two Years, Full List of MHA Guidelines.
"All honourable members of the group are informed that right now any post related to Coronavirus has been declared a punishable offense by the Central Government, only a government agency can post on Corona (sic)," read the viral post. "In case of wrong post or message, action will be taken against the members of the entire group including the group administrator by registering a lawsuit under the IT Act, so keep in mind be safe (sic)," the post claims.
Many are sharing this post purportedly issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). As the post went viral, the PIB issued a clarification, saying no such order has been issued by the MHA. It urged citizens to share verified news on coronavirus. "By sharing only official and accurate information on coronavirus, you can protect yourself and your family members," the PIB tweeted. Financial Year Date Changed From April 1 to July 1, 2020? Fake News Circulated by Misquoting Finance Ministry Notification on Amendment to Stamp Act.
PIB Clarification on Ban Against Coronavirus-Related Posts in WhatsApp Groups:
No such order has been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Note: By sharing only official and accurate information on coronavirus, you can protect yourself and your family members.
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 30, 2020
The MHA has issued a list of guidelines to be followed during the nationwide lockdown imposed in view of the coronavirus outbreak. "Anyone found guilty of spreading fake news or rumour-mongering would be liable for punishment for prison term of up to two years," the ministry has said.