A viral message claiming that posting anything related to Coronavirus on social media has been declared a punishable offence by the government is false. The forward falsely attributes this to a nonexistent official named Ravi Nayak in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
BOOM spoke to an official from the MHA who called the message fake and confirmed that there was no one named Ravi Nayak working at the ministry with the designation of the principal secretary. The official declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The viral message reads, "All honorable members of the group are informed that right now any post related to Corona virus has been declared a punishable offense by the Central Government, only a government agency can post on Corona."
BOOM received the forward on its WhatsApp helpline number (7700906111) inquiring about its veracity.
Viral on Facebook
We searched on Facebook with the same misleading caption and found that the post was viral.
BOOM found that the claims being made in the viral forward are false and no such circular has been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
On checking the Home Ministry's website we found that the supposed government official - Ravi Nayak to whom the message is attributed to and his designation of principal secretary, are nowhere stated.
Additionally, we did not find any news reports stating that the home ministry has declared a punishable offence on posting anything related to Coronavirus.
BOOM has previously fact-checked fake government circulars / notifications circulating on social media relating to the Coronavirus outbreak.
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