Twitter to ban 5G conspiracy theories

Twitter changed its rules after attacks on mobile towers in the UK


Tech Desk April 24, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

Twitter will be deleting "unverified claims" in efforts to counter misinformation that could cause panic amongst people or lead to the destruction of critical infrastructure.

The social media giant changed its rules after a series of attacks on mobile towers in the UK after a conspiracy theory that links 5G mobile telecommunications masts to the spread of coronavirus was making rounds despite being dismissed as false by politicians and medical professionals.

Fear and loathing in lockdown

The company said that tweets causing "widespread panic" will also be removed and gave two examples of tweets that would violate its new policy:

"5G causes coronavirus! Go destroy the cell towers in your neighborhood!"

"The National Guard just announced that no more shipments of food will be arriving for two months! Run to the grocery store and buy everything."

Scientists debunked the connection between Covid-19 and 5G calling it "complete rubbish" and biologically impossible.

"The worst kind of fake news," said Stephen Powis, NHS England medical director.

Bill Gates is now top target of coronavirus conspiracy theories, says report

Recently, Bill Gates was the new target for coronavirus misinformation according to Zignal Labs, a company that analyses media sources.

Conspiracy theories linking Gates with the virus were mentioned about 1.2 million times on TV and social media from February to April.
Facebook and Twitter are flooded with Gates-coronavirus posts, The New York Times found 16,000 posts on Facebook this year that were liked and commented on nearly 900,000 times.

This article originally published on BBC Tech.

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