Mourning period for queen doesn’t affect tech devices
CLAIM: Nintendo and Apple devices as well as the Roblox gaming platform are displaying on-screen messages explaining that they are disabled during the national period of mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. These messages aren’t real, and there are no such interruptions. Spokespeople for Nintendo and Roblox said these claims were unfounded, and a test by The Associated Press confirmed Apple products weren’t disabled as described.
THE FACTS: As the U.K. mourns the death of Elizabeth, its monarch for 70 years, some social media users are spreading baseless claims that its national period of mourning is hobbling tech devices and gaming platforms.
“Don’t play Roblox in the UK,” read one widely shared tweet, which featured an image designed to look like an alert message on the gaming platform. The image featured a photo of the late queen and the text, “Disconnected: Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022. This experience is unavailable for the Royal period of Mourning and will continue to be until Monday 19 September.”
An Instagram post made the same claim about Nintendo, featuring an image of a handheld game console from the brand with a similar message on its screen.
Meanwhile, Twitter users falsely claimed Apple iPads would display the message for any users who selected British English in their language settings.
“Friendly warning, DO NOT set your iPad’s language to British English or it will go into mourning mode for the next couple of days,” read the tweet, which was shared more than 8,000 times.
While some posters shared the images in jest, others seemed to believe the false claims, asking if there were exceptions for emergencies or expressing gratitude that they used Android devices.
However, the claims are unfounded. “There’s no truth to the rumor,” Nintendo spokesperson Eddie Garcia confirmed to the AP in an email. “There have been no changes to where Roblox is available globally,” said Roblox spokesperson William Nevius.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but an AP journalist’s iPhone displayed no such message when its language settings were changed to U.K. English. Apple’s tracking page for system issues reported no ongoing issues on Wednesday.
The mourning period for the queen extends beyond the date of Sept. 19 mentioned in the false posts. Elizabeth’s funeral is scheduled for that day, and the mourning period will extend for a week after that, according to the royal family.
The bogus claims come as other misinformation has spread around the queen’s funeral arrangements. The AP has previously debunked false claims that the U.K. had canceled all other funeral services on the day of Elizabeth’s burial.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.