Laos has announced that posting or sharing April Fools’ Day jokes about Covid-19 is now punishable by law.
According to the Mass Media Department Facebook page, Media Laos, anyone found posting or sharing April Fools’ Day jokes regarding Covid-19 will face up to three years imprisonment and a fine of up to LAK 20 million, approximately USD 2,000.
The move comes as a number of nations throughout Southeast Asia have chosen to heavily enforce such regulations.
The government of Thailand said yesterday in a Twitter post that April Fools’ Day pranks about the virus will be punishable by law carrying a sentence of up to five years imprisonment.
As people rely on the internet and social media for vital information regarding the new coronavirus, there are fears that April Fools’ pranks might encourage the spread of misinformation.
A viral post already became famous in Laos in February claiming that boiled eggs could be an antidote to the virus.
All citizens and foreign residents in Laos are encouraged to follow news from official channels only, particularly the Centre of Information and Education for Health.