Twitter has started putting a fact-checking label on tweets that link the COVID-19 pandemic to 5G wireless internet, a popular conspiracy theory that has been spreading online for months. A similar decision was taken by Youtube a few months back, when 5G-COVID-19 conspiracy videos led to people attacking and destroying 5G towers in the UK.

Relevant tweets will show a label below them which says “Get the facts about COVID-19”. That link then takes users to a Twitter page entitled “No, 5G isn’t causing coronavirus” which consists of articles, government information, and tweets from other fact-checking organisations about the conspiracy theory.

The 5G conspiracy theory claims that 5G suppresses people’s immune system and makes them prone to coronavirus. However, this theory is unproven since there is no scientific evidence that 5G suppresses the immune system, nor is there any evidence that viruses can communicate through radio waves. The pandemic continues to spread at the same rate in countries without any 5G infrastructure at all.

The labels put up are completely justified considering the on-ground implications of this theory. It has resulted in cell tower masts being set alight and engineers being harassed by people who believe in the conspiracy theory. More than 90 cellphone towers in the UK have been attacked.

In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said: “We’re prioritising the removal of COVID-19 content when it has a call to action that could potentially cause harm.”

Twitter’s decision to label the content is part of a broader push by all social media platforms to eliminate conspiracy theories and misinformation regarding coronavirus. Youtube took a similar step back in April, when it started removing or limiting visibility of content featuring conspiracy theories that link coronavirus to 5G.

Despite lacking scientific explanation whatsoever, these theories have led to attacks on phone masts in the UK. Phone masts in Birmingham, Merseyside and Belfast were set on fire, while broadband engineers faced physical and verbal threats from believers of the theory.