Twitter Helps Prevent 5G Disinformation
Twitter to direct users searching for 5G-related information to official government sources.
06:50 08 May 2020
Twitter will start directing users who search for 5G-related information to online resources approved by the British government. The scheme aims to stop the spread of 5G conspiracy theories that have resulted in attacks on mobile telecom masts and network engineers.
Conspiracy theorists' claims that 5G is linked to the spread of coronavirus have been widely discredited by experts with scientists saying that the theory is "both a physical and biological impossibility" while the mobile industry has described it as "utter rubbish."
Twitter has confirmed that it will also show a message confirming that the UK Government has seen no link between 5G and Covid-19 when users on the platform search for information about the next-generation network. The prompt will come with the headline "know the facts".
Culture Secretary Oliver Downden said: "We have set up a new counter disinformation unit and are working with the social media platforms to make sure the public has access to reliable information during the coronavirus crisis and to give us a much better picture of where disinformation is spreading.
"This move by Twitter directing users to official Government advice is a step in the right direction as part of this work."
Katy Minshall, head of government, public policy and philanthropy at Twitter UK said: "We continue our focus on connecting people with authoritative information regarding Covid-19.
"Today, through a partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), we launched a new on-service prompt in the UK that will direct people to a Government webpage with credible, factual and verified information relating to 5G.
"Our partnerships throughout this pandemic have allowed us to take proactive steps in bringing people the information most relevant and useful for them, and we're happy to add this update today in collaboration with DCMS in the UK."