YouTube will take steps to reduce the spread of videos falsely tying the spread of the novel coronavirus to fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), a conspiracy theory that has gained traction in recent weeks in some parts of the internet
An official for the video streaming giant told The Hill on Monday that it has started reducing how often such videos, or what they define as “borderline content,” show up in user recommendations.
“We’re committed to providing timely and helpful information at this critical time, including raising authoritative content, reducing the spread of harmful misinformation and showing information panels, using data from WHO and other locally relevant authoritative organizations, to help combat misinformation,” the official said.
“We have also begun reducing recommendations of borderline content such as conspiracy theories related to 5G and coronavirus, that could misinform users in harmful ways,” the person added.
The theory that 5G somehow is responsible for the spread of coronavirus has been growing in popularity recently.
The conspiracies took on more attention last week when people in the United Kingdom started torching and vandalizing 5G towers.
The baseless theory has been boosted by a wide array of celebrities and internet figures, including Woody Harrelson and boxer Amir Khan.
Misinformation surrounding coronavirus has been a concern since the disease began to spread.
Social media companies have taken a number of steps to curb such content, but fringe theories have continued to pop up.