35 Thai nationals detained nationwide for allegedly posting fake news related to the Covid-19 Coronavirus

Bangkok –

The Thai National Police along with the Digital Economy and Society Ministry’s Anti-Fake News Centre and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commisson (NBTC) today, February 5th, announced the crackdown of 35 people nationwide for allegedly posting fake and misleading information about the Covid-19 outbreak.

Police Major General Phanthana Nuchanart, Chief Liaison Officer for the Anti-Fake News Center, revealed that the operation was conducted accordingly with the Emergency Decree from the 18th of December 2020 to the 4th of February 2021.

Officials have arrested 35 people for posting false information online, according to the Major General. Four of them had allegedly confessed to have written the posts themselves while 31 others allegedly shared fake news about the Covid-19 situation.

Some of the fake articles include a story of migrant workers who had broken out of a quarantine facility in Samut Sakhon, a claim that Covid-19 Coronavirus is caused by bacteria from the 5G spectrum, and announcements that traveling to some provinces is prohibited.

Phanthana stated that the four alleged fake-news creators will be charged for violating the Computer Crime Act and Emergency Decree with a punishment of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of 100,000 baht.

He added: “Those who were detained for sharing false stories will not be legally charged just yet. They were just warned and asked to delete or edit their posts before we let them off.”

“This is also to remind everyone to be careful when reading, believing, and sharing any articles. It is best to verify the information you receive with related agencies before posting or sharing publicly in order to avoid breaking the law.”

Photo Courtesy: Komchadluek

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