COVID-19 is serious business.
Any news or updates about the situation, you can guarantee that all eyes will be on that piece of media.
This also means the possibility of fake news exists. Keeping your eyes peeled for nonsense is a good practice.
Luckily you’re reading from Goody Feed, so you’re alright. I think.
And if YOU are the person spreading fake news?
Then please sort yourself out because that stuff isn’t funny.
Arrested For Fake News
But if you do it anyway then congrats, you’re famous now.
Such is the case for taxi driver Kenneth Lai Yong Hui, 40, who pleaded guilty to one charge of spreading information he knew was fake.
Today (27 May), he has been sentenced to four months of jail.
Even the place where he got his fake news from also seemed quite suspicious.
From WhatsApp To Facebook
It’s always those big, pesky group chats, isn’t it?
Between 15 to 16 April, Lai claimed that he saw a message in one of his WhatsApp groups.
The message, whom he was unsure the original sender was, mentioned “disposable food container can transmit the virus” and “hawker centre and coffeeshop will be closed”.
Doing the sensible thing, Lai the went to verify the information with – nope, you thought there was going to be a twist?
He immediately went to the ‘Taxiuncle’ Facebook group to spread this breaking ‘news’.
And add salt and vinegar to it.
“Got intel say sg will proceed with more measures in place come this Saturday. Food courts coffee shop all to close. Supermarkets will only open two days a week. Better go stock up your stuff for the next month or so. Govt officials in meeting yesterday and will finalize measures tomorrow.”
The best part? Lai apparently knew it was false but posted it anyway. He even went to create false rumours that supermarkets would only stay open twice a week.
No amount of jokes could have prepared me for this.
Naturally, comments recommended he remove the rumour-filled post, which he thankfully did after a few minutes.
Thankfully because if not, we won’t have toilet paper in our house now.
Don’t worry, this story has a pretty good twist.
Around 12.30 pm on 20 April, a man called the police to report on Lai’s post. He apparently knew the taxi driver’s number through previous bookings hoping the police “will take up this case as his posting is irresponsible (and) will cause panic to fellow Singaporeans.”
Deputy Public Prosecutor Deborah Lee also recommended four months of jail, which we know he eventually received.
She also reprimanded has irresponsibility as the group he posted the fake news on had over 7,000 members.
That’s 7,000 people who could’ve panicked cause of some silly rumour, and over tens of thousands of toilet rolls lost because of him.
At the very least, Lai did apologise for his actions, realising that he obviously shouldn’t have spread false information online.
He could’ve been jailed for up to three years, fined a total of S$10,000 or both.
The man got off really lucky on this one.
But then again, your uncle is also spreading fake news, saying that cats have taken over Yishun. So why’s this so serious?
Consequences Of Fake News
Two words: panic buying.
Remember way back when on 7 Feb when this happened and Singaporeans swept everything from supermarkets?
Don’t forget facemasks and sanitisers ‘mysteriously’ vanishing within a few days too.
A terrible week for grocery shopping, let me tell you,
Luckily our Prime Minister assured us we were good and had enough supplies, people calmed down afterwards.
And you know what happened when Malaysia announced lockdown? No more JB trip for cheap goods right?
Panic buying again.
Imagine this news got leaked and went far, it could’ve potentially cause another supermarket-wiping phenomenon again!
For the sake of clean butts, don’t create and spread fake news.
Enjoyed this article because it’s both informative and entertaining? If so, you should download the Goody Feed app so that you won’t miss out on any articles, as there are app-exclusive contents as well! Also, join our Telegram channel if you use Telegram often!
Latest & Popular Articles You Must Not Miss:
Our Most Popular Videos You Must Not Miss: