YouTube has decided to ban any conspiracy theory videos that falsely link symptoms of COVID-19 to 5G mobile networks
YouTube, the Google-owned video platform will now delete videos that violate the new policy. The site had previously limited the frequency that it recommends such videos in its Up Next section to viewers.
The move comes after a live-streamed interview with former footballer and TV presenter, turned conspiracy theorist, David Icke, was uploaded to the site on Monday, in which he had linked 5G technology to the current coronavirus pandemic.
YouTube said the video would be removed from their platform.
During the interview, Mr Icke, who believes in conspiracies involving shape-shifting reptilians, made a baseless claim that there “is a link between 5G and this health crisis”.
When asked for his reaction to reports of 5G masts being set on fire in England and Northern Ireland, Icke responded: “If 5G continues and reaches where they want to take it, human life as we know it is over… so people have to make a decision.”
A spokesperson from YouTube has said:
“We have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us,”
“Now any content that disputes the existence or transmission of Covid-19, as described by the WHO [World Health Organization] and local health authorities is in violation of YouTube policies.”
“This includes conspiracy theories which claim that the symptoms are caused by 5G.”
“For borderline content that could misinform users in harmful ways, we reduce recommendations. We’ll continue to evaluate the impact of these videos on communities around the world.”
Those YouTube channels on the website, who continue to break the rules, will now be faced with being banned from using YouTube’s Live video tool.
YouTube has said that they are allowing the channel that hosted the Icke interview, to keep their financial earnings generated from the live video tool while the video was still online.
But they have said that they are giving their own cut of the revenue to charity, and has put the channel involved under official review.
Use our handy Live global stats tool top do your own research on COVID-19 around the globe: