Thailand: six arrested for spreading fake coronavirus news hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: bernama)
Bangkok (VNA) - Thai authorities have so far arrested six persons from various locations for spreading fake coronavirus, said Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Buddhipongse Punakanta.

“The latest case is from Chachoengsao where a 30-year-old woman allegedly posted on her Facebook page that she had found infected people at a hospital in Muang district,” minister Buddhipongse was quoted by the Nation newspaper.

Her post was widely shared by Facebook users and some news outlets even featured it on their websites, without verifying the credibility of the source, added Buddhipongse.

According to the minister, releasing and sharing fake news will only cause panic among the public, which will ultimately lead to wrong practices in virus prevention as well as discrimination against people who only have the common flu.

In the long term, this could affect Thailand’s image as incapable of containing the virus and educating the public, which may affect the confidence of foreign investors and tourists in the future, he stressed.

Releasing fake news is a violation of Section 14 (2) of Computer-related Crime Act BE 2560: Uploading falsified information into a computer system which may affect national security, public safety or may cause public panic. The maximum punishment is a fine of 100,000 baht (over 3,200 USD) and/or five years imprisonment, minister Buddhipongse said.

The government has created an Anti Fake News Centre to work with the police in tracking down and arresting individuals who release false information about the new coronavirus outbreak on social media and other online outlets.

The centre will collaborate with the Royal Thai Police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division, the minister said./.