News reports of impending internet outage are false
Injina Panthi / April 24, 2020
Some Nepali news websites have been publishing news reports since April 19, 2020 claiming that there could be a worldwide internet outage for two days. Over a dozen news outlets have published such reports without bylines. Interestingly, the reports do not state when the outage would occur. Though the news has been published and republished by dozens of news websites, the report published by www.sutranews.com was more popular and had already been shared more than 25,800 times until the afternoon of April 24. The news report has quoted “international media” and Russia Today as its news sources.
South Asia Check examined the veracity of the reports and found that the news is false.
Although many news websites have published the news, only www.satyasamachar.com and www.sutranews.com have attributed their reports to Russia Today and inserted a link, which takes you to an unrelated news report.
A quick internet search revealed that about a year and a half ago, on October 11, 2018, Russia Today had published a report titled “Global Internet could crash in the next 48 hours”. The report mentioned that “Internet users around the world may experience network connection failures on Thursday [Oct 18, 2018] as the main domain servers and related infrastructure controlling the web will be powered down for some time.”
On October 12, 2018, Nepal-based news website www.myrepublica.com had republished the news of rt.com with headline ‘Global Internet could crash in next 48 hours’ attributing “agencies” as the source.
On October 12, 2018, Indian news website www.hindustantimes.com had published a report titled “Global internet shutdown likely over the next 48 hours” with a note at the bottom that read “The story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text”.
Meanwhile, Kiran Gautam, the general manager of Worldlink Communications, one of the largest internet service providers in Nepal, told South Asia Check that he had no information about an impending internet outage.
This material is copyrighted but may be used for any purpose by giving due credit to southasiacheck.org.
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