YouTube is banning conspiracy videos that spread misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesperson for the platform told BBC.
The ban was prompted after a two-hour live stream riddled with false accusations appeared on YouTube, and was deleted only after it had concluded. Previously, the platform stated it would limit such videos in the “Up Next” section, BBC reports.
The since-deleted live-streamed interview with conspiracy theorist David Icke appeared on the platform Monday. Icke falsely promoted a growing conspiracy linking coronavirus and 5G networks, and falsely stated that coronavirus vaccines will include chips to control humans, per BBC.
The live video was watched by 65,000 people, BBC reports, with several viewers commenting in support of attacks on 5G towers. The conspiracy has been promoted by celebrities, and some towers in the U.K. were actually set on fire.
“Now any content that disputes the existence or transmission of COVID-19, as described by the [World Health Organization] and local health authorities is in violation of YouTube policies,” the spokesperson told BBC.