English, Fake News

Modi government is not shutting down WhatsApp from 11:30 pm to 6:00 am daily. It’s an old hoax


A post with a video and a long description is being shared on Facebook with a claim that WhatsApp will be off from 11:30 pm to 6:00 am daily. Let’s try to analyze the claims made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here.

Claim: Central government (Modi) declared that WhatsApp will be off from 11:30 pm to 6:00 am daily. If the message is not forwarded, then the account will get deleted. To reactivate the account, Rs. 499 need to be paid. Also, WhatsApp is going to charge money for its services. If the message is forwarded to 10 people, then the message will get blue ticks and the account will remain free.   

Fact: The message being circulated is an old hoax circulated again as Facebook and their related apps were down on Wednesday. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

The complete text of the viral message being circulated on social media – “What’s app will b off From 11.30pm to 6:00 am daily. Declared by central govt. Message from narendra modi (PM) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. DO NOT ignore my words or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 499.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the modi team. WhatsApp is going to cost you money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 50 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo will change color. send this to 8 people to activate the new whatsapp.. Saturday morning whatsapp will become chargeable. If you have at least 10 contacts send them this message. In this way we will see that you are an avid user and your logo will become blue (🔵) and will remain free. (As discussed in the paper today. Whatsapp will cost 0.01€ per message. Send this message to 10 people. When you do the light will turn blue otherwise whatsapp will activate billing. ITS TRUE …… U get blue TICKS.

When searched on Google with the keywords ‘WhatsApp will be off from 11:30 pm to 6:00 am daily’, it was found that a similar message went viral in 2013. In the old message, there was a different name and fine amount.

In the search results, there were also some news articles published back in 2014 terming the message as a hoax. According to a Times of India article, the blue ticks update which came back then was used in the viral message to make people share the false message.

In the post, the video does not talk anything related to the description. In the video, the news was about the outage of Facebook and their related apps on Wednesday. Even Facebook has officially tweeted a couple of times on Wednesday’s outage issue. It first tweeted that it is aware of the issue and later, tweeted that it resolved the issue.

To sum it up, in light of the recent outage of Facebook and its related apps, an old hoax has been circulated again.

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