A message claiming that telecom operators in India have decided to offer free internet till May 17 in view of the coronavirus lockdown is going viral on social media, including WhatsApp. The claim is false and the telecom companies have not made any such offer. According to the viral message, mobile companies have announced to provide free internet to all the users till May 17 in wake of the nation-wide lockdown to contain the coronavirus.
In the message, people have been asked to click on a link to avail free recharge. In the viral message, people are also urged to stay home to stop the coronavirus spread. However, the claim made in the viral message is false as none of the telecom operators has announced any such offer.
PIB Fact Check has confirmed that the claim is false and the link given in the message is fake. "This claim is absolutely false and the given link is fake. The Department of Telecommunications has not made any such announcement," PIB Fact Check handle tweeted.
दावा: एक व्हाट्सऐप मैसेज का दावा है कि कोरोना महामारी के कारण 17 मई 2020 तक लॉकडाउन की वजह से मोबाइल कंपनियों नें सभी मोबाइल यूजर्स को फ्री इन्टरनेट देने का ऐलान किया है|#PIBFactcheck:यह दावा बिलकुल झूठा है और दिया गया लिंक फर्जी है| दूरसंचार विभाग ने ऐसा कोई ऐलान नहीं किया है| pic.twitter.com/gVEiIIqCgx— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) May 5, 2020
Amid coronavirus lockdown, fake news and videos have become a headache for the government as well. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also flagged the issue of fake news and doctored videos amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During his first address to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit since assuming office in 2014, PM Modi said," While the world fights COVID, some people are spreading deadly viruses such as terrorism, fake news & doctored videos to divide communities and countries. But let's focus on positives. What we can do together to help the world fight this health crisis."
We, at IBTimes, have been fighting this menace and debunking fake news and claims. Recently, we had debunked a similar fake claim that Reliance Jio will offer free 25GB mobile data for six months. You can check other fact-check stories here.