YouTube is just as sick of the COVID-19 and 5G conspiracy theories as we are

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By now you’ve probably seen one of the videos spreading a conspiracy theory that COVID-19 and the rollout of 5G are some how related.

The theories range from 5G being the cause of COVID-19 to 5G being the next step in widespread mind control and COVID-19 is simply the easiest way to keep us in our homes as the tech is rolled out.

At first we thought this was simply a passing fad, but it seems that conspiracy theories about 5G and COVID-19 have become uncontrollable.

So much so that The Guardian reports that 5G masts owned by Vodafone and O2 were attacked at the weekend.

As many of these conspiracy theories have found a home on YouTube, the company is making moves to suppress the spread of that content.

It should be noted that only content which breaches YouTube’s guidelines will be removed. That includes content promoting unsubstantiated medical methods to prevent COVID-19 in place of seeking treatment.

We’d argue that even mentioning that 5G is responsible for the spread of COVID-19 should earn a creator a ban given the severity of the current state of the world but then, we don’t operate YouTube and that’s probably a good thing.

Content discussing 5G and COVID-19 ties will simply not be recommended to users as much. It won’t be deleted but it will require you go out of your way to find the outlandish claims.

As for conspiracy theories about 5G that make no mention of COVID-19, those are considered “borderline content” and are subject to limited functionality. This limited functionality includes being removed from recommendations and search results.

Despite there being multiple studies into the effects of 5G, the non-ionising radiation it produces and potential side-effects, conspiracy theorists are having a field day.

It’s important then to remember to do your own research through reputable news organisations. That doesn’t mean just reading a headline but sitting down and actually reading through what is going to be a highly technical discussion about 5G.

If that sounds like a chore to you, then perhaps you shouldn’t be sharing videos about how 5G and COVID-19 are related on a whim simply because you want to “inform people”.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.