Claim: 52 WhatsApp group admins are detained at Dadar cyber crime police station
What is the rumour about?
- The message states that the 52 WhatsApp group admins are detained at Dadar’s cybercrime police station for forwarding misleading information to their groups.
- The message also says that each group admin will face a jail term of 1 to 5 years and for securing bail, they would have to fight in criminal court. No explanation by any admin would be taken into account.
- Further, an advisory warning has been issued to the members of the group informing that from now on, whoever posts any message related to Coronavirus on their WhatsApp group will be punished.
- It says that only a government agency is authorised to post things about the COVID-19 crisis. If the posts are found wrong or misleading, action would be taken against all the members of that group including the admin, and a lawsuit will be registered in their names according to the IT Act.
- The message also mentions that is by the order by Ravi Nayak, the principal secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
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Who started the rumour?
- Social media users who spread the unverified message through WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook forwards. Take a look at the message that is being forwarded.
Image courtesy: WhatsApp
Image courtesy: Twitter
Republic World did a fact check on "52 WhatsApp group admins at police station" rumour
- Republic World did a fact check on the same and the rumour results appear to be false!
- The mentioned official, Ravi Nayak, has NOT declared any such official statement saying that false WhatsApp forwards will be a punishable offence.
- Even PIB has claimed that these rumours are false. Check the tweet posted by PIB's fact check department.
- PIB has advised people to share verified and official news on their WhatsApp groups so as to ensure that correct news gets across to one's friends and family members.
- The message mentions Ravi Nayak as the principal secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, GOI, which is also wrong as there is no person in the Ministry of Home Affairs with that name and designation.
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Google Trends analysis on 52 WhatsApp group admins arrested rumour
Here is the Google trends analysis of how many times the rumour has been searched for in recent days. The message spiked its maximum number of searches on March 31, 2020. The data is shown in percentile form.
Image courtesy: Google Trends
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