Coronavirus: YouTube Clamps Down On Videos Linking 5G To Covid-19

Google’s YouTube video-streaming service has banned all conspiracy theory videos that falsely link 5G networks to the spread of Coronavirus.

It comes after at least 20 mobile phone masts across the UK are believed to have been torched or otherwise vandalised since Thursday, the Guardian newspaper reported.

The damaged mobile phones masts were reportedly clustered mostly around Liverpool and the West Midlands. But due to the slow deployment of 5G, those attacked towers that didn’t have 5G technology on board. What was damaged was 3G and 4G equipment.

Foolish celebrities

The damage to mobile phone masts at a time like this, when a global pandemic has triggered heavy reliance on communication technology, beggars belief.

Matters have not been helped by ill-informed celebrities who have highlighted the false link between 5G and Coronavirus.

Last month an American singer/songwriter claimed 5G networks were to blame for the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. She subsequently retracted her claims.

But other celebrities jumped on the bandwagon, including Amanda Holden who tweeted a link to an anti-5G petition to her almost 2 million followers.

Boxer Amir Khan, actor Woody Harrelson, and even conspiracy theorist David Icke have published similar claims. Indeed, Icke had live-streamed an interview on Monday, in which he had linked the technology to the pandemic.

Now the BBC has reported that YouTube will now delete videos violating the policy. It had previously limited itself to reducing the frequency it recommended them in its Up Next section.

YouTube said the Icke video would now be deleted.

It is worth remembering that all of these celebrities are NOT epidemiologists, but rather grossly ill-informed scaremongers.

YouTube takedown

“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 spokeswoman for YouTube told the BBC.

“Now any content that disputes the existence or transmission of Covid-19, as described by the WHO [World Health Organization] and local health authorities is in violation of YouTube policies,” said the spokeswoman.

“This includes conspiracy theories which claim that the symptoms are caused by 5G,” said the spokeswoman. “For borderline content that could misinform users in harmful ways, we reduce recommendations. We’ll continue to evaluate the impact of these videos on communities around the world.”

Last month experts at the International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) declared that 5G was safe for human health.

ICNIRP is based in Germany, and it is the international body in charge of setting limits on exposure to radiation.

Earlier this year the UK communications regulator Ofcom carried out safety tests in the UK of 5G base stations and found that there is no danger to the public posed by electromagnetic energy (EME) levels.

How much do you know about UK mobile operators? Try our quiz!

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

View Comments

  • One does worry about the sanity of some of these so called 'celebrities', maybe even more so their followers!
    Wonder what scientific mechanism they thought could cause COVID-19 or have an effect on the actual SARS-Cov-2 virus - perhaps more likely they didn't think!

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