Google says that it will remove videos from YouTube that spread false and dangerous information about COVID-19, including videos that incorrectly link 5G to the virus. Less malicious conspiracy videos will be stripped of monetization options and hidden from search results.
According to a YouTube spokesperson, the company has “clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment.”
These policies are meant to fight dangerous medical advice and cure-alls, but they also cover conspiracy theories that link the novel coronavirus to 5G. People who believe that 5G is linked to COVID-19 have set telecom masts on fire in the UK—an act which could reduce the response time of emergency medical services and cause people at home to panic.
Just to be clear, theories that link COVID-19 to 5G are totally false. Radio waves cannot create a virus, and they cannot weaken or compromise your immune system. Destroying telephone poles and wireless infrastructure will not reduce the spread of COVID-19 or save lives. It will simply put the lives of coronavirus victims or anyone else who needs an ambulance in jeopardy.
YouTube’s distaste for misinformation and conspiracy isn’t new. The company has spent the last year de-monetizing, suppressing, and deleting content that spreads hateful or dangerous conspiracies. Additionally, YouTube tries to provide accurate information when users search for conspiratorialized topics, such as the JFK assassination or condensation trails.
If you need verified or professional information about the coronavirus, then check the CDC and WHO’s websites. Other websites, and especially social media platforms, are not reliable sources for coronavirus information or advice.
Source: The Guardian