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In these days of dealing with COVID-19, on-air pranks may seem silly, but please be careful when you want to lighten the mood.

April Fools Day (April 1) activities that could especially draw attention.

FCC rules prohibit broadcasting false information about a crime or catastrophe, if it is likely that the broadcast will cause substantial public harm and if, in fact, public harm occurs. How is that defined? A hoax that causes the police force to divert resources or that causes the destruction of property or that causes a traffic back up are examples of possible instances of substantial harm.

Also, phony Emergency Alert System (EAS) tests are likely to draw FCC action.

For further information, log in to the NFCB Solution Center. This service is a knowledgebase for community radio member stations. If you are not yet a member, you can join here.