5G conspiracy linking to COVID-19 is still haunting the social media platforms. With that, to stop the spread of misinformation, Twitter is now blocking "unverified claims" that could lead directly to the destruction of important infrastructure or cause massive panic.
The social media company modified its regulations as baseless claims that phone towers are emitting harmful radiation circulated throughout social media in recent weeks.
Posts will be taken down if the public to have interaction in harmful activity, cause vandalism of 5G infrastructure, or imposes fear.
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 Safety (@TwitterSafety) April 22, 2020
Scientists and fact-checkers have debunked numerous claims, which include bogus social media posts that declare the virus is a cover-up for harm caused by 5G technology. Full Fact confirms that those claims are false, and there may be no evidence that 5G is harmful to health.
The social media platform stated on Wednesday that tweets encouraging people to destroy the cell towers in the neighborhood would violate the policy and would be deleted.
Tweets that still causes "massive panic," along with content such as "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!" would be deleted, too.
However, the platform stopped short of saying it might take down coronavirus misinformation all at once.
"As we've said previously, we will not take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about COVID-19," a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
At least 2,230 tweets have already been deleted for containing "misleading and doubtlessly harmful content material." However, not all content material falsely linking 5G to the deadly virus can be removed.
Security experts lauded the initiative taken by Twitter. However, they warned that there is probably a chance of the algorithm used to censor such content material being misused.
"As long as it doesn't get manipulated to quash free speech in the future, then this is a fantastic use of technology and will be used to thwart such ridiculous theories," Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist at the antivirus firm ESET, told The Independent.
Twitter, according to Moore, has a long history of being trailblazers in such areas. "Hopefully, we will see other social media platforms take the same stance on such a hot topic," Moore added.
Mobile UK, the group representing network operators in the United Kingdom, welcomed the move. The organization told DailyMail that mobile operators are committed to keeping the UK connected during this challenging time.
How other social media platforms take action
Twitter is among several tech platforms to join forces in fighting fake information about the coronavirus.
Technology companies, including Facebook and Google, said that the collaboration intended to elevate authoritative content material and share essential updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies.
Despite the tried crackdown, incorrect information has managed to reproduce online, with a few Facebook corporations promoting 5G conspiracy theories attracting tens of hundreds of members.
Scientists have always disproved any theories connecting the next-generation cellular towers to health risks.