Does 5G cause COVID-19? Conspiracy theories lead YouTube to “tighten its grip” on false information

Does 5G cause COVID-19? Conspiracy theories lead YouTube to “tighten its grip” on false information

Recently, unfounded rumors started circulating about a link between fifth generation mobile networks and the COVID-19 pandemic that is plaguing the world. Multiple conspiracy theories published on YouTube have even led to the firing of 5G towers in various locations across the UK. In view of the latest developments, YouTube has announced that it will take steps to halt the spread of false information.

To The Guardian, the company led by Susan Wojcicki said it will move to remove all videos that violate the platform's policies when trying to link the pandemic of COVID-19 to 5G. A YouTube spokesman indicated to the British newspaper that the company has a clear policy that prohibits videos that promote COVID-19 prevention methods that are not clinically substantiated.

However, the latest YouTube measures may not imply a complete removal of conspiracy theories videos, whether about COVID-19 or about fifth generation mobile networks. The company explains that there are certain videos that are on the border of acceptable content and, therefore, their exposure will be limited by reducing their appearance in the users' video recommendations.

The decision comes after Oliver Dowden, Boris Johnson Government Secretary of Culture, indicated that he would enter into negotiations with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to remove content that would lead users to believe that there is some connection between the pandemic and 5G.

Conspiracy theories are worrying the British Government, as well as the country's telecommunications operators, especially at a time when structures are essential to ensure that the population remains connected in times of social isolation.

British FullFact, an independent fact-checking organization, has already unmasked the main conspiracy theories in relation to this theme. FullFact indicates that there is no link between the 5G networks in Wuhan, where the pandemic started, and the disease itself. The idea that 5G can affect an individual's immune system has no basis, explains the organization, adding that there is no hard evidence to link both sides of the issue.