apologized

Twitter has apologized for slapping a COVID-19 label on tweets about 5G, but experts say the platform’s algorithm could be encouraging the spread of conspiracy theories

A pedestrian, wearing a protective mask and disposable gloves, holds a mobile phone while walking near an U.K. government issued coronavirus message in Birmingham, U.K., on Monday, April 6, 2020. Telecom masts that enable the next generation of wireless communication were set on fire in the U.K. in recent days, apparently by people motivated by a theory that the tech helps spread the coronavirus.
A pedestrian, wearing a protective mask and disposable gloves, holds a mobile phone while walking near an U.K. government issued coronavirus message in Birmingham, U.K., on Monday, April 6, 2020. Telecom masts that enable the next generation of wireless communication were set on fire in the U.K. in recent days, apparently by people motivated by a theory that the tech helps spread the coronavirus.

Darren Staples/Bloomberg via Getty Images

  • On Friday, Twitter users noticed that the platform was marking tweets mentioning “5G” or “oxygen” with a warning about COVID-19 misinformation.

  • Mislabeling tweets that link 5G and COVID-19 could help to “raise the profile” of the popular conspiracy theory that the cellular technology caused the coronavirus outbreak, according to social media researcher Wasim Ahmed.

  • In a statement to Business Insider, Twitter said it had make a mistake and was working to “improve” its labeling process. It blamed the error on the

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