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The 21-year-old man admitted to police that he made the story up to increase his number of followers on social networks. He has been charged with causing alarm by the publication of false information, which carries a sentence of two to eight years in prison as the crime was committed during the state of emergency. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.

Brno, May 4 (BD) – A 21-year-old Brno man hoped to use the current coronavirus pandemic to his advantage, when he published a post on social media reporting that employees in a food factory near Brno had tested positive for coronavirus. He told police his motivation was to increase his number of followers on social media.

“This post worked, and the traffic to his profile really increased. He got over 3,000 followers in a very short time,” said South Moravian Police spokesman David Chaloupka.

However, news of the post reached employees at the factory, who reported the case to the police. There were no infected people among the factory employees. 

The author of the article admitted during the interrogation that he had used unverified information. He is now facing a prison sentence of between two and eight years, as the offence was committed during the nationwide state of emergency.

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