Of all the conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19, the ones linking it to 5G are among the most bizarre. Twitter since announced that unverified claims linking the two together are grounds for removal if they incite vandalism against infrastructure.
The social media platform announced that it has updated its guidance on on verified claims linking the two. More specifically, Twitter will be removing tweets that link 5G to COVID-19, which also incites people to take harmful actions. This includes the destruction of 5G infrastructure, or just general unrest and disorder.
Since introducing our updated policies on March 18, we’ve removed over 2,230 Tweets containing misleading and potentially harmful content. Our automated systems have challenged more than 3.4 million accounts targeting manipulative discussions around COVID-19.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) April 22, 2020
Unfortunately, it means that the company will not be removing every conspiracy theory out there relating 5G to COVID-19. Only those with calls to action will be targets for removal. For what it’s worth, this probably means there will be less tweets around that will encourage people to set fire to 5G towers.
As an aside, Twitter also said it has removed over 2230 tweets since it previously updated its policies last month. It feels like a surprisingly small number, but that’s likely because of the specific criteria that the social media company set. While content that will potentially cause harm are removed, it looks like tweets that have only misleading content will be left alone.