Twitter adds fact-checking labels to tweets linking 5G with Covid-19: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 09, 2020

A Representative image.   -  Reuters

Twitter is adding fact-check labels to tweets linking 5G with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to reports.

The micro-blogging platform is adding a warning label to tweets that seem to incorrectly link 5G technology to the spread of the novel coronavirus, Business Insider reported.

The platform adds a label that reads "Get the facts about Covid-19" to such tweets. The label is linked with a Twitter page titled “No, 5G isn’t causing coronavirus” which provides information debunking this theory with links to news reports, fact-checking organizations, and government agencies.

“Numerous people have been spreading unsubstantiated stories about 5G technology being linked to the spread of Covid-19. The theory has been debunked by several reputable sources including government officials, and experts in the tech and medical industries,” the page description reads.

Twitter earlier had updated its guidelines on unverified claims related to 5G.

“We have broadened our guidance on unverified claims that incite people to engage in harmful activity, could lead to the destruction or damage of critical 5G infrastructure, or could lead to widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder,” Twitter had said.

It had also broadened its policy guidelines on misinformation back in May. According to the Business Insider report, the social media platform remove only those tweets that are “harmful” while adding relevant labels to others and “will not take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about Covid-19.”

The platform has updated its policies related to tweets linking 5G to coronavirus after conspiracy theories had begun to surface across platforms earlier this year. False claims relating the Covid-19 pandemic to 5G had led to the destruction of property in the UK. It was deemed as “dangerous fake news” by British officials.

Multiple conspiracy theories had surfaced since March that claimed that the coronavirus outbreak was connected to 5G telecom masts. Multiple cellular towers in the UK were torched and telecom staff threatened in a bid to stop the spread of the virus, BBC had reported.

Published on June 09, 2020

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