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Covid-19: PIB fact check debunks fake order stating hotels/restaurants to remain closed till October 15

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 08, 2020 Published on April 08, 2020

File photo   -  The Hindu

PIB joined WhatsApp last month in a bid to curb misinformation

The Government’s official fact check entity, PIB Fact Check on Wednesday said that a fake order made out to be from the Ministry of Tourism stating that all hotels/restaurants will remain closed till October 15 going to the coronavirus pandemic has been making rounds on social media.

The Centre advised citizens to remain cautious of such fake information being spread through social media platforms.

“Be cautious of #Fake order claiming that hotels/resturants will remain closed till 15th October 2020 due to #Coronavirusoutbreak. #PIBFactCheck: The order is Fake and has NOT been issued by Ministry of Tourism. Do not believe in rumours!” PIB Fact Check tweeted from their account.

Social media has seen a surge in misinformation amid the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, PIB Fact Check on Tuesday debunked another message making rounds on the Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp. According to the message, the messaging platform indicates that the government has read a particular message on the platform if the message displays three red ticks.

“#Fake News Alert ! Messages circulating on Social Media reading 'WhatsApp info regarding √ tick marks' is #FAKE.#PIBFactCheck : No! The Government is doing no such thing. The message is #FAKE. Beware of rumours!” it had tweeted.

The PIB joined WhatsApp last month in a bid to curb misinformation, especially fake news surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Do forward any whatsapp “news” about #COVID2019 which you suspect is #fakenews to our whatsapp hotline number +918799711259 for busting,” PIB had tweeted.

PIB can be contacted at +918799711259 on WhatsApp or can be reached via email at pibfactcheck@gmail.com.

The messaging app is also pitching in with new features to curb the spread of fake news through its platform. WhatsApp on Tuesday announced that it will allow users to send frequently forwarded messages to only one chat at a time to combat the spread of misinformation.

It is also working on a new feature that would let WhatsApp users search a particular forward on the internet to ensure whether or not the information is fake. The feature is currently being tested in WhatsApp’s beta version.

Published on April 08, 2020

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