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Two charged for spreading fake coronavirus news

Jan 30. 2020
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By THE NATION

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) ministry has been closely monitoring news and rumours regarding the coronavirus outbreak on social and online media via the Anti-Fake News Center Thailand to ensure that people receive only verified news and not to cause panic among the public, said minister Buddhipongse Punakanta on Thursday (January 30).

“We have discovered that there are many fake news about the new coronavirus and are working with Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) to investigate and arrest the offenders,” he said.

“So far the TCSD has identified 15 sources of fake news via social and online media,” said Buddhipongse. “After investigation we found that six of those sources have violated the section 14 (2) of Computer-related Crime Act B.E. 2560: Uploading falsified information into a computer system which may affect the national security, public safety or may cause public panic.”

The DES Minister added that two of six offenders had been arrested and charged. “As for the other four, investigators found no intention to cause harm on their parts and were let go with a warning after signing a police report,” he added.

“Tracking down these offenders are challenging and often take some times, as most of the fake news spreaders use fake names when registering to a website. Some even register from a proxy location abroad,” Buddhipongse added.

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