YouTube, the online video giant owned by Google, said that it would remove content from its platform that explicitly links 5G and coronavirus. According a report in The Guardian, YouTube said it would remove videos that breach its policies, which including blaming the spread of coronavirus on 5G technology.
But the company said that this did not extend to removing other potentially conspiratorial 5G content, so long as videos do not mention coronavirus.
It comes after videos have circulated on the platform and across social media that links the rise in 5G technology to the spread of the coronavirus. YouTube classes these videos as “borderline content” and will be suppressed by removing advertising revenue from them and removing them from the search function on the site.
“We … 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,” a YouTube spokesperson 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.”
In the UK, Vodafone and O2 have reported arson attacks on 5G mast sites as misinformation around the nature of 5G spreads across the web. It’s particularly galling that people should be destroying communication services in the middle of a pandemic when those services are more vital than ever.
Claims that 5G is linked to coronavirus are wildly incorrect, as demonstrated by Tech Advisor editor Jim Martin. This point of view has been backed up by UK fact checking charity Full Fact.