WhatsApp fake messages seem to have become a menace of late. A range of messages including WhatsApp red ticks after the Government of India introduced the new IT Rules 2021 to all vaccinated people dying within two years according to French Virologist Luc Montagnier were all fake but led to widespread panic amongst the less informed. Although there are dedicated fact-check portals that have been busting these fake messages, these messages continue to do the rounds.
Here we put together five such fake messages that viewers should know about, and refrain from sharing. It would also be prudent to educate those who forward such messages about finding out facts about a certain message prior to forwarding them to others. Forwarding fake messages on social media platforms is a criminal misdemeanor, and as per the new IT Rules 2021 any circulating such message that can be a threat to the integrity or can lead to widespread panic is a punishable offence.
WhatsApp Red Ticks, Vaccinated People Dying in Two Years and Other Fake WhatsApp Messages
WhatsApp Red Ticks: This message, which also went viral last year, claims that all calls will be recorded and saved after the new communication rules have been implemented. The message also claims that a new tick system will be introduced, and three WhatsApp red tick means that the government has started proceedings against the user who will get summons soon. This message is fake, and it is not possible for the Government of India to monitor calls and messages as the platform’s messages are end-to-end encrypted.
WhatsApp Message on All Vaccinated People Dying Within 2 Years: This particular message has caused a fair amount of panic considering the underlying apprehensions that citizens have with regard to the COVID-19 vaccine. the viral message claims that French virologist Nobel Prize Winner Luc Montagnier has confirmed that “there is no chance of survival for people who have received any form of the vaccine.” This message is fake, as that is not what Montagnier said. The statements he made were with regard to vaccine enhancement syndrome, which is being disputed.
Varun Pulyani WhatsApp Message: This message claims to be from Varun Pulyani, director of WhatsApp. The message asks viewers to forward the “message to more than 10 people to activate your new whatsapp with facebook services”. This message is also fake as there is no Varun Pulyani in the company.
Coronavirus Vaccine Should be Avoided During Periods: This viral message claims that vaccination should be avoided by women five days before and after the period as their immunity is low during the period. Dataquest checked with a doctor who said this claim is fake, and there are no studies to indicate that a woman’s immunity is low during those days. Also, doctors have confirmed that the vaccine can be taken by anyone who is COVID negative. Those who are positive should wait for a period of three months.
Coronavirus Vaccine Appointment Can be Booked through WhatsApp: This is yet another fake WhatsApp message on Coronavirus vaccine. Covid-19 vaccination appointment can only be booked through the CoWIN portal or the Aarogya Setu app. Any message that claims otherwise is fake.
How to Spot Fake WhatsApp Messages
- WhatsApp fake messages usually have many grammatical errors including punctuation mistakes and proper nouns written in small letters.
- They will also have the forwarded several times tag.
- Such announcements are never made on free messaging platforms, and hence citizens are advised to rely on only official channels for factual information.