Coronavirus impact | YouTube will remove conspiracy theories that link COVID-19 to 5G technology
In the United Kingdom, these theories have led to people setting cell towers on fire.
April 06, 2020 / 08:33 PM IST
The coronavirus pandemic has seen several scamsters and fearmongers promote the spread of fake news to add to the already ensuing chaos amid this global crisis. The most recent fraudulent theory doing the rounds over social media was a link between coronavirus and 5G technology.
Now, YouTube has committed to reducing the spread of misleading conspiracy theories by reducing the number of videos it recommends to users on its platform that link the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to 5G technology. In the United Kingdom, these theories have led to people damaging cell towers.
The Guardian reported that a spokesperson for the video-sharing platform said, “We have also begun reducing recommendations of borderline content such as conspiracy theories related to 5G and coronavirus, that could misinform users in harmful ways.
Last week, the BBC reported at least seven cell towers had been set ablaze after the false information was spread that linked 5G technology to the coronavirus. According to the report, one of the towers set on fire wasn’t even a 5G tower.
The video streaming platform said it would remove videos that violate its policies. However, it may still allow conspiracy content about 5G that doesn’t mention the coronavirus, but those videos could be removed or suppressed from search results. Several conspiracy theories about 5G aren’t backed by any evidence and only serve to misinform people.
However, YouTube’s actions could be vital in the prevention of the spread of misinformation. Moreover, at a time when remote connections are more important than ever, it is imperative to deter people from acting irrationally. We suggest that any news be crosschecked with official sources to stay informed and limit the spread of misinformation.