Google Breaks the Tradition
As the threat of the coronavirus continues to expand its footprint, countries around the world have become very serious about handling the same. 1st April, generally celebrated as the April fool’s Day worldwide will strictly under observation and people spreading rumors about the COVID-19 will be liable to strict punishments. Countries from Thailand to India have told people not to make pranks related to COVID-19 on April Fools’ Day.
Tech giant Google, which is famous for its annual spoofs, has also cancelled the tradition considering the severity of the disease. In previous years, Google has surprised everyone with its pranks such as advertisement of jobs at the new research center at the moon. “Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot better than this one,” it said in an email to staff.
Countries around the World taking Strict Actions
Countries around the world have said that they will take strict actions against any COVID-19 related rumors. Thailand said that April Fools’ Day jokes about the virus could be punished under a law carrying a sentence up to five years in prison. Taiwan’s President Tsai-Ing-wen took to Facebook to tell people not to prank about the virus adding that anyone spreading the rumors or false information could face up to three years in jail and/or a fine up to NT$3 million.
Furthermore, in India, Maharashtra state’s cyber security unit said it would take legal action against anyone spreading fake news on the April Fools’ Day. Germany’s health ministry also urged the public not to make up stories related to the virus under the heading “corona is no joke.” With increasing reliance of people on Internet and media for vital information, there are fears that jokes could fuel the spread of fake information and this is a very essential step taken by these countries to stop the same.