Twitter to block virus 5G conspiracy theory tweets

Twitter is introducing voice tweets, or spoken audio messages which may be shared by users in addition to text, images and video (AFP Photo/DENIS CHARLET) (AFP/File)
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Washington (AFP) - Twitter is taking down comments inciting "harmful activity," specifically calls to destroy wireless equipment stemming from a conspiracy theory that linked 5G to the coronavirus.

"We have broadened our guidance on unverified claims that incite people to engage in harmful activity, could lead to the destruction or damage of critical 5G infrastructure, or could lead to widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder," the Twitter safety team said on Wednesday.

The move follows social media calls that have resulted in attacks on 5G towers in some European countries.

Twitter's update is the latest in an effort by social media platforms to curb rampant misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a blog post, Twitter said it was refining its policy to deal with the latest incidents.

It will remove "unverified claims" what could lead to the destruction or damage of critical infrastructure, "widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder," the statement said.

These include tweets that falsely tell people food is running out or that 5G wireless causes coronavirus, the San Francisco firm said.

The 5G conspiracy theory has prompted the British government to step in to debunk the claim, which was promoted by an ITV news presenter.

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