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Twitter will remove dubious 5G tweets ‘that could potentially cause harm’

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TECHCRUNCH 22 APR 2020

Ever since it first started rolling out, 5G skeptics have attempted to link the next-gen cellular technology to all manner of health issues. Most recently, it’s become an easy scapegoat for the global COVID-19 pandemic, given the rapid rise of both.

Conspiracy theories have gained such a foothold that vigilantes have taken matters into their own hands by destroying cell towers in various European countries. In its latest bid to tamp down on the spread of false information pertaining to the novel coronavirus, Twitter today expanded its COVID-19 guidance to include the topic.

“We’re prioritizing the removal of COVID-19 content when it has a call to action that could potentially cause harm,” a spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch.

“As we’ve said previously, we will not take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about COVID-19.

Since introducing these new policies on March 18, we’ve removed more than 2,200 Tweets.

As we’ve doubled down on tech, our automated systems have challenged more than 3.4 million accounts which were targeting discussions around COVID-19 with spammy or manipulative behaviors.”Twitter Safety✔@TwitterSafety

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.Coronavirus: Staying safe and informed on Twitterblog.twitter.com253Twitter Ads info and privacy183 people are talking about this

The note seems to leave open the possibility of leaving up some share of 5G claims that don’t “potentially cause harm.” Still, the gray area is fairly wide, when considering activities like property destruction seemingly caused in the name of 5G-related conspiracy.

“We have broadened our guidance on unverified claims that incite people to engage in harmful activity,” the company wrote on social media, “could lead to the destruction or damage of critical 5G infrastructure, or could lead to widespread panic, social unrest or large-scale disorder.”

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