Michael Lane Brandin, a US-based man, has narrated how he got arrested and lost his job after faking he had contracted COVID-19 on Facebook.
In March, Brandin, who is from Woodville, had taken to his social media page to inform his followers that he had the novel disease.
The young man, who has a bachelors of degree in Mass Communications, said his faux illness online was aimed to conduct a “social experiment” and prove that people should not always believe everything they read online.
He had claimed in the post that his doctor told him COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, was now airborne.
“I have a bachelors of science degree in mass communications. I did it to prove how easy it is for anyone to post something online and cause panic,” he told BBC.
“I wanted to prove that it is important for people to be educated and do their own research before assuming everything they read or hear is true.”
His post, however, became a subject of heated controversies in Tyler County, Texas, where he lived, with many afraid that they could easily get infected with the virus since Brandin claimed it was airborne.
The 23-year-old student would later be arrested for creating a “baseless” report and charged with criminal allegation of false alarm.
After spending a night behind bars, he was later released on condition of paying a $1,000 (£800) bail bond but now awaits the commencement of his trial.
The development has not only seen him lost his job but also denied of his health benefits. Brandin said it has also halted his quest to further his masters degree over lack of money.
“But because of a Facebook post I lost my job, my health benefits. I couldn’t start my masters programme on time due to not having the money. It has put a financial burden on my entire family because they are all trying to help me pay my bills,” he added.
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