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Twitter will refine fact-checking labels on tweets linking COVID-19 to 5G

Twitter will fix the frequency of the fact-checking labels that is intended only to apply to tweets that link COVID-19 to 5G technology.

Twitter has taken a stand against the spread of conspiracy theories that claim 5G is spreading the coronavirus, applying a label on tweets that contain potentially harmful and misleading information related to COVID-19. The label reads “Get the facts about COVID-19,” and links to a Twitter moment titled “No, 5G isn’t causing coronavirus.”

However, it appears that Twitter is applying the label too much. Users have discovered that the label will appear on tweets that contain the words “frequency” and “oxygen,” The Week reported. This is seemingly because of the disproved conspiracy theory that 5G is a dangerous frequency that “sucks the oxygen out of the atmosphere and disrupts the regular functioning of the human body.”

The overzealous use of the fact-checking labels have not done any actual harm, and has instead spawned memes of people posting tweets containing the two keywords just to make the label appear. It does, however, diminish the feature’s reputation, as it should only be applied to tweets that make false claims.

Twitter has acknowledged the wrong applications of the fact-checking label, and said that it will fix the process behind the feature.

In the last few weeks, you may have seen Tweets with labels linking to additional info about COVID-19. Not all of those Tweets had potentially misleading content associating COVID-19 and 5G. We apologize for any confusion and we're working to improve our labeling process. (1/4)

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 26, 2020

To show context about these topics where it’s likely to be useful, we're building new automated capabilities to apply these labels to Tweets we think could be relevant.

As we improve this process to be more precise, our goal is to show fewer labels on unrelated Tweets. (4/4)

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 26, 2020

Twitter did not provide a timeline for when the changes will be implemented. Digital Trends has reached out for more information, and we will update this article as soon as we hear back.

5G conspiracy theories debunked

Spreading the coronavirus is just one of many conspiracy theories involving 5G technology. There have also been claims that 5G causes cancer, and that the technology caused the death of hundreds of birds in The Hague. 5G was also said to have the ability to control the weather, and to control people’s minds.

All of these theories have been debunked.

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