The English edition of Marathi daily Lokmat published an article recently, which claims that a Chinese intelligence officer has leaked details on how the coronavirus outbreak is supposedly caused by a bioweapon. This claim is false; the story originates from a Reddit forum called r/NoSleep, where users share fictional horror stories that are often inspired by real events.
The same story went viral recently, after it was published on a conspiracy theory blogpost called UFOSpotlight, which was then debunked by BOOM.
The Lokmat article, which has now been deleted, recounts the tale of a Chinese intelligence officer who claims to reveal the true origins of the current coronavirus pandemic. According to the officer's story, the novel Coronavirus is not a virus at all but a bioweapon that was leaked when a Chinese "traitor" tried to sell it to the United States.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
"According to a Chinese official, the Intelligence Agency of America had also received the news of this biological agent and the CIA was also showing interest in it. The US had already caught the virus that China made in the lab. The Chinese official wrote in his article, Why the deal could not be reached on the transaction of virus between China and America. The official wrote, "Our American friends also showed interest in the virus. We have good relations with the CIA but because it was very dangerous, we refused. The CIA felt that we had made a very powerful thing and China It wants to keep it to itself. The US Intelligence Agency offered a large sum of money to a Chinese researcher and demanded that virus. The researcher sold a sample of the virus to the US agency Sector was ready.
When the US agent was dealing with the virus from China's researcher, China got a clue. There was a shootout in which many people died. However, the American agent managed to escape. This shoot out took place near the animal market, and the vial in which the sample of the virus fell on it. This is the reason why this virus spread in Wuhan. China tried to hide it by saying that it spread with bats. China lied to people that only the flu has spread in Wuhan, but gradually the whole world was caught by the virus that China had made in its lab.
BOOM found that the story has no link to reality, and it originated from a subreddit called r/NoSleep - a Reddit forum where people share fictional horror stories often based on real events. A user, named as Wuhanvirusthrowaway published the fictional story in the Reddit forum.
The forum r/NoSleep features guidelines for the users which stated that the plots written in it are works of fiction and does not contain any genuine information. The guidelines of the forum are listed below.
• Readers are to act as though everything is true and treat it as such in the comments.
• No debunking, disbelief, or criticism (constructive or otherwise).
• Do not ask for proof, or tl;dr's/summaries.
• Be respectful to one another.
• Comments must contribute to the discussion.
• Report all comments that violate these rules.
Below is a screenshot of the same.
Furthermore, a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section also states that the stories listed in the forum are not to be believed to be true. An excerpt from the FAQ reads, "Are the stories here true? Probably not - but while you're in r/NoSleep, everything is true. Outside of NoSleep, a story may be fact or may be fiction. The important thing is that while you're here, treat everything as though it is a true recount of events."
The stories on r/NoSleep are meant to exaggerate reality to create believable but fictional stories. Therefore such stories may often go viral as real, if they're misinterpreted as such by those who're unaware of the popular Reddit forum.
This was previously fact checked by Snopes.
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