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Fact Check: Are All Telecom Companies Providing Free Internet Amid Lockdown?

Fact check: A message claiming that all telecom companies are providing free internet due to the coronavirus outbreak has been proven false. Read details.

fact check

The ongoing coronavirus lockdown has evidently brought upon issues with the daily lives of millions of people. During these testing times, the majority of people are using internet devices like their smartphones and laptops to access entertainment portals or to get their work done. Though no telecom company has to-date announced providing free internet to users during the lockdown, fake news spreaders have certainly circulated messages which claim so. 

Also read: Fact check: Did China cancel the US Dollar peg at the stock market?

Claim 

A recent viral message on WhatsApp was claiming that due to the coronavirus lockdown, major telecom companies have announced free internet. The message going viral is originally in Hindi, the translation of the message has been written below. The message also provided a link which gave access to the free recharge. 

Translation

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, all the mobile companies are providing free internet till May 17, 2020. The free internet service has been provided for people to get their work done easily. Please stay home and stop the spread of COVID-19. Access the link provided below to get the free internet recharge 

- https://telecom.covid19offer.live

Note - This offer is only valid till May 17, 2020

Rating - False

The official PIB fact-checking authority has falsified the claims made by this viral message. The link provided in the message is also fake as it leads to a fake website that has spelling errors in its user interface. Whereas, after checking the official website of various telecom companies and the Department of Telecommunications also has not listed any such offer. 

Also read: Fact check: Did Pentagon confirm UFO sightings and release videos of them?

fact check free internet data jio free data airtel free data
fact check free internet data jio free data airtel free data

source: Free COVID-19 recharge fake website

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Origin 

Like various other forwarded messages making false claims, this one too was circulated on WhatsApp. The messaging platform has evidently emerged as a hub for various notorious internet users to share fake news. Though the messaging platform has taken some steps to resolve this issue, the efforts haven't stopped people from sharing fake news. 

Also read: Fact Check: Are Murder hornets from China?

Google Trends Analysis

As the fake message about free internet recharge started going viral, a number of people took to Google to search for the same. This resulted in a surge of search results for queries such as 'jio free internet' and 'airtel free internet'. Check it out below - 

fact check

Also read: International fact checking network launches a WhatsApp bot to counter fake news

fact check

 

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