Twitter has begun displaying fact-check labels on tweets that appear to incorrectly link 5G mobile technology to the spread of the coronavirus.
Labels reading “Get the facts on COVID-19” have been appearing beneath these certain tweets. Clicking on the label links the user through a thread titled: “No, 5G isn’t causing coronavirus.”
The thread links to news articles, tweets, and official sources that debunk the conspiracy theory. In May, Twitter began promising it would fact-check tweets bearing misinformation, especially those relating to the coronavirus.
A Twitter spokesperson says “We’re prioritising the removal of COVID-19 content when it has a call to action that could potentially cause harm.”
They continue, “As we’ve said previously, we will not take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about COVID-19. Last month, we announced that we are introducing new labels and warning messages to provide additional context and information on some Tweets containing disputed or misleading information related to COVID-19.”
The fact-check label seems to be appearing on any tweets mentioning the keywords “5G” and “Corona” in quick succession of each other. Even tweets that are really not propagating false information are being slapped by the label.
A few users have been poking fun at the system.
5G and the Coronavirus
Conspiracy theories about radio waves harming humans evolved this year with the ongoing pandemic. The theories now include claims that 5G helps the spread of the virus, amongst other claims.
One popular claim by anti-5G conspiracy theorists claim is that new 5G technology is hurting people’s immune systems, thereby making them more susceptible to the coronavirus.
In the UK where the theory took hold, over 50 cell towers were attacked and many of them were torched as fear of 5G spread. Many of the towers destroyed were not even 5G enabled.
Twitter Fact-Checks President Trump
Twitter has been more aggressive with misinformation in politics as of late as well. Notably, Twitter added fact-check labels on two tweets from US President Donald Trump’s account.
The labelled tweets contained information about mail-in-voting that Twitter believes as fake.