YouTube will reduce the reach of videos which link 5G to the COVID-19 coronavirus on its platform, The Guardian reports.
Videos that breach its policies will be removed, and it will reduce recommendations of “borderline content” such as videos that tout conspiracy theories related to 5G and coronavirus.
The company said videos that discuss conspiracies relating to 5G without mentioning coronavirus will still be allowed.
“We also have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us,” said YouTube.
5G equipment vandalised
YouTube’s decision to clamp down on videos relating to the coronavirus/5G conspiracies follows 5G equipment being vandalised in the UK due to such theories.
“It beggars belief that some people should want to harm the very networks that are providing essential connectivity to the emergency services, the NHS and the rest of the country during this lockdown period,” said Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery.
Mats Granryd, the director-general of the GSMA, said the telecoms industry is working hard to keep important entities and resources running.
“It is deplorable that critical communications infrastructure is being attacked based on outright mistruths,” said Granryd.
“We urge everyone to trust health authorities and rest assured communications technology is safe. There is no link between 5G and COVID-19.”
No connection between 5G and coronavirus
Granryd’s claim is correct, as the conspiracies being touted on social media platforms are premised upon a variety of myths.
Some myths that are being spread which are definitively incorrect or misleading include:
- 5G caused the coronavirus outbreak
- 5G is 10,000 times the strength of 4G
- 5G uses higher frequencies than 4G, which are dangerous
- Cellphone networks are “building a global microwave oven”
- China got hit badly by COVID-19 because it has widespread 5G coverage
Read more about these myths and why they are incorrect in our previous article.