YouTube has tightened its restrictions on videos that claim that 5G is linked to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19. Its new policies will include video deletion, after a livestream with a known conspiracy-theorist aired earlier this week.
According to the BBC, the interview with conspiracy theoriest David Icke included statements where he said there “is a link between 5G and this health crisis”.
This week it has been reported that over 20 5G mobile phone masts have been vandalised across the UK due to theories that link COVID-19 to the rollout of 5G networks.
When Icke was asked about the vandalism and fires he is reported to have said “If 5G continues and reaches where they want to take it, human life as we know it is over… so people have to make a decision.”
Icke also claimed that an eventual COVID-19 vaccine would include “nanotechnology microchips” so humans could be controlled, and that Microsoft’s Bill Gates should be incarcerated.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged up to $US100 million to COVID-19 relief, including $US60 million for vaccine development, treatments and diagnoastics alone.
The foundation is currently backing 7 different potential vaccines, one of which started human testing this week.
A potential DNA vaccine for COVID-19 that is backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is about to enter its first round of human testing this week in the U.S.Read more
The interview with Icke ran for two and a half hours and around 65,000 people tuned in during parts of the broadcast. According to the BBC, YouTube was aware of the video as it was streaming but only deleted it after it was over.
“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 YouTube spokesperson told the BBC.
“Now any content that disputes the existence or transmission of Covid-19, as described by the WHO and local health authorities is in violation of YouTube policies. This includes conspiracy theories which claim that the symptoms are caused by 5G.”
Prior to this, 5G conspiracy theory content merely had its recommendations reduced. Now YouTube will be deleting the most flagrant content that violates its new policies.
“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.”