A clipped video of an India TV news report is doing rounds on social media with a false claim that messaging on WhatsApp will be suspended between 11:30 pm and 6 am daily according to the directions of the government. In the video clip, the voiceover reads the viral message which states that in order to avoid this, one has to forward the viral message to everyone in their contact list. If the message is not forwarded, WhatsApp will become invalid for the user. The message further adds that users will have to pay Rs 499 which will be deducted every month from their account to restart a suspended WhatsApp account.
BOOM found that while WhatsApp did have a subscription model, it did away with the practice to become a free-to-use app in 2016. WhatsApp itself also debunked a similar claim regarding the platform becoming a pay-and-use app in a blog post stating that the message was a hoax. On the other hand, BOOM ran a keyword search using "India tv WhatsApp viral video" and found a 2019 video uploaded on India TV's YouTube channel titled 'Fake News is being spread using a doctored IndiaTV Viral Alert video'. The 2.17 minute video is a news report debunking the same claim. The viral video has been culled out from the 0.19 mark to 1.19 mark of the original video. The tickers in the viral video are different from the video uploaded by the channel on YouTube. In the original video, the anchor begins by stating that a viral message claims that the Modi government has directed users to forward the message to 50 people within 48 hours to continue using the app for free. The reporters spoke to cyber security expert who also debunked the claim. The same video was earlier viral in January, 2021.
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?