COVID-19: Fake Bulletin Used to Claim PM Ordered Internet Shutdown

The viral images differ from the actual bulletins in terms of formatting, content and language.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
A set of images falsely claimed that PM Modi has ordered internet shutdown from 12 am.
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Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Tuesday, 24 March, said that from 12 am onwards the entire country will be on lockdown for 21 days and appealed to every citizen to not step out of their houses for the time period.

CLAIM

Now , a set of images of news channels Aaj Tak and ABP News are viral with the claim that PM Narendra Modi has said that internet services will be shut from 12 am onwards.

COVID-19: Fake Bulletin Used to Claim PM Ordered Internet Shutdown
(Photo: Facebook/ Screengrab)
COVID-19: Fake Bulletin Used to Claim PM Ordered Internet Shutdown
(Photo: WhatsApp/ Screengrab)

The Quint received a query about the claim being made in the image via its WhatsApp helpline.

COVID-19: Fake Bulletin Used to Claim PM Ordered Internet Shutdown
(Photo: WhatsApp/ Screengrab)

(Click here for live updates on COVID-19. Also visit Quint Fit for comprehensive coverage on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.)

TRUE OR FALSE?

False.

Both the images are morphed versions of the bulletins run by Aaj Tak and ABP News. The viral images differ from the actual bulletins in terms of formatting, content and language.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

IMAGE 1

We found a bulletin run by ABP News which was aired on Tuesday, 24 March with the title ‘Coronavirus Crisis: PM Modi Puts India Under Complete Lockdown For 21 Days’. There are several visual similarities and differences in the viral photos and the bulletin aired by the channel.

While the top band and PM Modi’s attire are the same in both, the lower band is different both in the terms of content and format. One can see a yellow coloured lower band in the bulletin, however, in the viral photo, there is a red coloured lower band and with a completely different text.

Left: Viral Photo. Right: ABP News bulletin.
Left: Viral Photo. Right: ABP News bulletin.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Regarding the centre text, we scanned through the entire bulletin and could nowhere find any text claiming internet services are going to be shut from 12 am midnight. The prime minister only mentions that a lockdown will be imposed from midnight.

IMAGE 2

Aaj Tak, in its latest bulletins, is not using the “Breaking News’ band in the same format as shown in the viral photo. Further, there is no ticker and no lower band in the photo that is circulating on social media. The Aaj Tak bulletins do carry both of them.

Also, it can be seen that PM Modi is in a different attire as compared to the one seen in the bulletin aired on Tuesday.

Left: Viral Photo. Right: Aaj Tak bulletin.
Left: Viral Photo. Right: Aaj Tak bulletin.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Further, Aaj Tak is a Hindi news channel and does not air information in English. But the information in the viral photo is in English.

The format of the centre text does not corroborate with the format of Aaj Tak, rather it’s the same as that of ABP News, that too, of the older bulletins dating back to 2018.

Left: Viral Photo. Right: 2018 ABP News bulletin.
Left: Viral Photo. Right: 2018 ABP News bulletin.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Evidently, morphed images of Aaj Tak and ABP News bulletins were used to claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that internet services will be shut from 12 am midnight.

The Quint had earlier debunked another set of morphed Aaj Tak images in which we found that the ‘Breaking News’ band used in the viral photo was a format that the channel used in 2019.

You can read all our fact-check stories on coronavirus here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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