Fake news have increased notably during the coronavirus crisis in Morocco, resulting in security services launching a campaign to crack down on rumors.
The “blank year” rumors, spurred by a fake Ministry of Education statement, worried people that the ministry would not count the 2019-2020 academic year.
In a statement on Thursday, March 26, the ministry urged people not to believe fake news and to verify any information relating to education by referring to official information channels.
The ministry emphasized that it will take legal action against the authors of the bogus statement.
Morocco suspended school, starting March 16, as part of a nationwide campaign to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The ministry, however, launched distance learning initiatives, broadcasting lectures and classes for Moroccan students via television and special websites.
The country also declared a state of emergency which came into effect on March 20.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Morocco is facing increased fake news and rumors.
Prior to the outbreak, the Moroccan government had warned citizens against fake news and disinformation that might create panic among citizens.
Moroccan police have arrested dozens of people for spreading fake news about the virus. Some of the accused posted fake videos of people collapsing on the streets due to the coronavirus.
Moroccan police also arrested some for faking statements and for their involvement in spreading fake news related to the coronavirus cases in Morocco.
Morocco has confirmed 275 cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths.