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Facebook says it is taking aggressive steps to remove 5G and coronavirus posts that cause physical harm

Yasmin Ahmed     April 10, 2020

Facebook has said that it will take aggressive steps to remove content that can cause "physical harm". It will not remove claims stating linkage between coronavirus and 5G, otherwise.

According to a report by Independent, Facebook posts that cause physical harm include those making false claims about cures, treatments or the location and severity of the outbreak. Apart from these, it will also remove posts that encourage people to attack 5G masts that could cause damage or arson.

"We are taking aggressive steps to stop misinformation and harmful content from spreading on our platforms and connect people to accurate information about Coronavirus," a Facebook spokesperson told Independent.

Last week, several reports of 5G masts in the UK being burnt were reported. The UK has seen a considerable loss because of the burning of 5G masts in Birmingham, Merseyside and Belfast.

According to reports, workers and operators faced verbal and physical threats all credits to the conspiracy theories.This was linked to the conspiracy theories which were floating around, stating the rollout of 5G has something to do with the spread of coronavirus. The conspiracy theories suggest that the virus suppresses the human immune system and uses 5G radio waves to target a victim.

Facebook and other social media platforms are seemingly the root cause of such rumours. One such rumour states that 5G sucks oxygen out from people.

Now, the spread of misinformation, especially, the 5G conspiracy theory was spread because of social media of which Facebook played a major part.

Facebook, however, will not remove posts which falsely claim 5G and coronavirus are linked if they do not cause physical harm.

It will, however, try to debunk those claims posts. If a fact-checker claims a post as false, Facebook would reduce the visibility of these posts, limit its distribution or add warning labels to it.

Video-sharing platform decided to downplay content which showed 5G content, and it decided to remove any videos which would link 5G and coronavirus. The videos which will not adhere to YouTube's policies will be considered as borderline-content and will be subject to suppression. Moreover, these videos will lose advertising revenue and will be removed from search results on the platform, a report by Guardian stated.

Twitter, too has taken steps to curb misinformation related to the pandemic. It removes posts which do not adhere to its misinformation policy related to COVID-19.


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