The Ministry of Digital, Economy and Society (DES) has filed police complaints against three people, including an assistant television news editor, for allegedly spreading fake news on social media about a woman suffering side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine.
The story was shared with a picture of the woman, supposedly from Udon Thani with nasty rashes on her legs. The story also said she suffered numbness and cerebral bleeding after being given a Sinovac vaccine shot.
However, the ministry insisted the news was false. It said the image was that of a woman being treated for an allergy to other medication at Nong Muang Hospital in Lop Buri.
DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn yesterday said the matter was brought to the ministry’s attention by the Anti-Fake News Centre.
He said the ministry traced the story to a Twitter account named “@tuykallaya” and two Facebook accounts named “Wadfhan Niphawan” and “Kathi Ja” which shared the news.
The DES has filed a complaint with Tung Song Hong police in Bangkok and asked that charges be brought against the owners of the three social media accounts.
Mr Thanakhamanusorn said the Kathi Ja Twitter account owner was identified as an assistant news editor of a television news channel that admitted to recently airing two erroneous news stories. One was about arrivals from overseas who could transmit a new strain of COVID-19 and the other was on the efficacy of certain vaccines.
The minister said that although the account owners have since deleted the posts about the woman, legal action against them will continue.
“This to teach some people a lesson not to disseminate fake news especially during the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.
“The government has campaigned hard to convince as many people as possible to get a jab.” he said.