Conspiracy theories claiming a connection between 5G technology and the coronavirus have been around since the pandemic’s early days, and apparently they’re still going strong.
So strong, in fact, that Twitter began applying a label to some tweets about COVID-19 and 5G, encouraging users to “get the facts” about the virus. As Business Insider reported, clicking through the label leads to a page collecting sources debunking claims with links to pages like the BBC and Snopes. Earlier this year, the conspiracy was linked to a series of arson attacks on 5G towers.
Twitter’s latest wave of fact-checking labels appears to have been applied pretty broadly, even on some tweets making jokes or references to the label itself.
Expanding its fact-checking labels to apply to coronavirus 5G conspiracies is the latest instance of Twitter’s evolving platform moderation efforts. The labels stop a step short of screening or removing content altogether, instead offering up additional context and letting users reach their own conclusions. At the very least, even with its mild wording, the warning labels should help flag untrustworthy content for the platform’s most credulous users.