Google bans 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory ads

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Google has announced a crackdown on adverts around misguided conspiracy theories concerning a link between coronavirus and 5G networks.

The search giant has said it will be banning advertising on search terms and keywords that relate to “misleading health claims” surrounding 5G and coronavirus.

The news follows a number of attacks by conspiracy theorists on 5G masts across the UK, despite repeated advice from scientists that there is no link between the global pandemic and the high-speed networks.

Coronavirus conspiracy

According to The Telegraph, Google says that the adverts fall under its sensitive events policy, which has been in place since January, when the coronavirus began to spread outside of China into other countries.

This looks to prevents companies and individuals from profiteering from public health emergencies by blocking their adverts from appearing in search results.

Earlier this week, scientists, the UK government and the country's mobile industry joined together to plead for the spread of misinformation to stop. As well as attacks on masts, telecoms and networking infrastructure workers have also faced abuse and assault.

Recent guidance from the International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) took into account more than two decades of research and concluded there was absolutely no risk to public health.

Anti-5G campaigners have argued next-generation-networks can cause a range of health problems despite the fact that the entire body of research available refutes these claims, while World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations are that 5G is safe.

The UK government has ordered social networks to do more to prevent the spread of misinformation, while England’s National Medical Director Stephen Powis said: ““The 5G story is complete and utter rubbish, it’s nonsense, it’s the worst kind of fake news.”

Via The Telegraph

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.