Passengers on a commuter train in Bangkok. (AFP / Mladen Antonov)

Doctored report falsely warns of new nationwide curfew in Thailand after Covid-19 infections surge

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

As Covid-19 infections surged in Thailand, multiple Facebook posts shared a purported news report stating a new nationwide curfew would be announced on April 23, 2021. The claim is false: the photo has been doctored from an old news report about an earlier nationwide curfew. In response to the misleading Facebook posts, the Thai government said the purported announcement was “fake”.

The photo was posted here on Facebook on April 21, 2021.

It was shared more than 6,500 times before it was deleted.

The photo bears the logo for Thai television station Channel 3.

The Thai-language text overlaid on the image translates to English as: “Nationwide curfew! Do not leave home 10 pm - 4 am / Effective April 23, 2021.”

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on April 21, 2021

The misleading post circulated online as Thai authorities imposed new restrictions in a bid to curb a surge of Covid-19 infections, AFP reported.

As of April 22, 2021, the country’s Ministry of Public Health has logged more than 48,000 Covid-19 infections and 117 deaths from the disease.

An identical photo was also shared alongside a similar claim here, here, here, and here on Facebook.

The photo also circulated on the mobile messaging application Line alongside a similar claim.

The claim is false: the photo has been doctored.

A reverse image search on Google found the original photo was posted by Channel 3 on Twitter here on April 2, 2020.

The date in the original photo was digitally altered from “April 3, 2020” and replaced with “April 23, 2021”.


Below is a screenshot comparison of the doctored photo in the misleading posts (L) and the original photo (R):

Screenshot comparison of the doctored photo in the misleading posts (L) and the original photo (R)

In response to the misleading Facebook posts, the Thai government said the purported announcement was “fake”

"There has been no announcement of a curfew, or measures that will completely prohibit going outdoors,"  it said in a statement posted here on Facebook on April 21, 2021.

Channel 3 said the image in the misleading Facebook posts had been doctored.

“We would like to urge everyone to be careful in sending this false message, and please follow the news closely so you don't become a victim of the perpetrators", the media company said in a statement posted here on April 21, 2021.

COVID-19