Connect with us

Business Africa

COVID-19: Technology firms summoned over ‘crackpot’ 5G conspiracies

Published

on

5G conspiracies | COVID-19 pandemic
Technology firms summoned over 'crackpot' 5G conspiracies

COVID-19: Technology firms summoned over ‘crackpot’ 5G conspiracies

Oliver James Dowden a British politician who has served as Culture Secretary is to order social media companies to be more aggressive in their response to conspiracy theories linking 5G networks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oliver James Dowden plans to hold important meetings with representatives from diverse technology firms next week to discuss the matter.

It follows a number of 5G masts apparently being set on fire.

The issue will test the companies’ commitments to free speech.

 

Earlier in the week, blazes were reported at masts in Birmingham, Liverpool and Melling in Merseyside.

A spokesman for Vodafone’s mobile network told the BBC there had been a total of four further incidents over the past 24 hours at both its own sites and those shared with O2, but did not identify the locations.

“We have received several reports of criminal damage to phone masts and abuse of telecoms engineers apparently inspired by crackpot conspiracy theories circulating online,” a spokeswoman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told the BBC.

“Those responsible for criminal acts will face the full force of the law.

“We must also see social media companies acting responsibly and taking much swifter action to stop nonsense spreading on their platforms which encourages such acts.”

DCMS has yet to confirm which tech companies are being summoned.

ALSO, READ:

 

5G Conspiracy Theories labeled a ‘Complete rubbish’

False theories are being spread on smaller platforms such as Nextdoor, Pinterest and the petitions site Change.org as well as larger ones including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.

Scientists have said the idea of a connection between COVID-19 and 5G is “complete rubbish” and biologically impossible.

Several of the platforms have already taken steps to address the problem but have not banned discussion of the subject outright.

Pinterest, for example, limits its search results for coronavirus and related terms to showing pinned information from recognized health organizations but does not have a comparable restriction for 5G.

Facebook said it had also removed a number of groups that were encouraging attacks on 5G masts.

However, a post entitled “burn baby burn – it’s begun”, which accompanied videos of telecoms equipment ablaze, was only taken down about six hours after it was flagged to the company’s press office.

YouTube bans some types of bogus posts about COVID-19 pandemic, but classes conspiracy theories linking the virus to 5G as “borderline content”, i;e 5G conspiracies are classified as “Borderline Content”.

As a result, it said it tries to reduce the frequency its algorithms recommend them but does not delete the videos from its platform.

A spokeswoman for the Google-owned service said it intended to “evaluate the impact” of this approach. It did, however, remove one video flagged by the BBC that featured threatening language.

Different Points of Views on COVID-19 Pandemic Linked with 5G conspiracies

Change.org said its open nature allowed anyone to set up a petition about any issue they cared about but added they must comply with its guidelines to stay online.

“We have removed a number of petitions making unsubstantiated health claims about 5G from the platform,” a spokeswoman added.

Vodafone has said the attacks are “now a matter of national security”.

“It beggars belief that some people should want to harm the very networks that are providing essential connectivity to the emergency services, the NHS, and rest of the country during this difficult lockdown period,” wrote UK chief executive Nick Jeffery.

“It also makes me angry to learn that some people have been abusing our engineers as they go about their business.

“Online stories connecting the spread of coronavirus to 5G are utterly baseless. Please don’t share them on social media – fake news can have serious consequences.”

The GSMA – a trade body that represents the wider mobile industry – also urged social media and other content-hosting providers to “accelerate their efforts to remove fake news” relating to the problem.

The campaign against 5G has been flourishing on social media for the last year.

Facebook, in particular, has been full of groups claiming the technology is dangerous, with many of them also pushing anti-vaccine messages.

Until recently, apart from the odd fact-checking message alongside posts, the companies have done little to combat this trend. Neither Twitter nor YouTube, for instance, has an option in their reporting systems to flag misinformation.

Even on Friday, complaints to Facebook moderators about a group that appeared to encourage arson attacks on 5G masts received replies saying the page did “not violate our community standards” – although after the BBC contacted Facebook’s press office it was taken down.

In normal times, social media platforms are very reluctant to curb what they regard as an essential part of their mission: giving people the right to free expression, however outlandish or unscientific their views.

But these are not normal times.

The government is effectively waging a war against a deadly virus, and keyworkers looking after vital infrastructure are facing abuse, possibly inspired by these social media campaigners.

That means there is now intense pressure on the likes of Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter to combat what one minister has called “dangerous nonsense” – and they will want to be seen to be acting responsibly, even if some of their users cry censorship.

More Article Trends on, 5G conspiracies, COVID-19 and 5G, COVID-19 pandemic, has had a surge in search on Search Engines

Business Africa

Nigeria to Become Petroleum Product Refining Hub, Minister Says

Published

on

By

The Federal Government has said it will leverage the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to reposition the oil and gas sector in other transform the country into a petroleum products refining hub for the African region

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, disclosed this at the AfCFTA Oil and Gas Virtual Workshop, with the theme: “Nigeria – Africa’s Refining and Services Hub under the AfCFTA.

 

Represented by Bitrus Nabasu, the permanent secretary Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Sylva said Nigeria had approved the AfCFTA, which would begin implementation in January 2021.

 

According to him, the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement aims to redefine trade relations between African states while enabling free movement of people and investments

 

Sylva also added that the government was also committed to deepening gas utilization as seen in its National Gas Expansion Programme and the Auto Gas Scheme.

 

Continue Reading

Business Africa

Nigeria to Strengthen Economic Cooperation With Algeria Says President Buhari

Published

on

nigeria- algeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured of Nigeria’s commitment to stronger economic cooperation with the republic of Algeria in various critical areas.

Click to Watch Our YouTube Videos

The President restated the commitment on Thursday when he received the Algerian foreign affairs minister, and special envoy of the Algerian president, Sabri Boukadoum, in the Aso rock presidential villa in Abuja.

According to a statement issued by special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president said projects like the Trans-Sahara road, international gas pipelines, and other areas of economic cooperation would be given adequate attention for the good of the people of the two countries.

Buhari also emphasized the need for peace, tranquility and security in African countries, saying development and growth would depend a lot on how peaceful and secure the continent is.

In his remark, the special envoy said Nigeria was the pillar of Africa, and he had brought messages from his president, for the two countries to explore areas of collaboration.

Incase You Missed:

nigeria-is-among-the-top-leading-adopters-of-cryptocurrency-per-capita

the-president-of-the-african-development-bank-warned-against-misinformation

Continue Reading

Agriculture & Nigerian Economy

We Have to Reduce Oil Production Cost, Says Osinbajo

Published

on

Osinbajo-NCBN

Vice-president, prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said the deal to cut oil production by the organization of petroleum exporting countries and its allies has resulted in lower revenue generation for the federal government.

Click to Watch Our YouTube Videos

The vice-president, who was represented by the minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, said the collapse in crude oil demand due to the covid-19 pandemic caused the recent sudden slump in oil prices.

Osinbajo said on Tuesday that the ministry of petroleum resources had a mandate to drastically reduce the unit cost of crude oil production in the country in order to increase government revenue.

He expressed confidence that the country would achieve the desired goal of finding more hydrocarbon deposits in the Nigerian basins, notwithstanding the curtailment in production.

Incase You Missed

Maize Farmers To FG | End Insecurity To Improve Farming And Food Production

Nigeria’s external reserve drop by $261 million in 15 days, oil firms to sell forex to CBN

NLC Condemns Hoarding of COVID-19 Palliatives by State Governments

#EndSARS: “Your Feelings of Frustration are Justified”-Osinbajo

FEC Proposes N13.8Tn Budget for 2021 Fiscal Year

Rice Production Has Increased by 1.2 Million Metric Tonnes –FG

Continue Reading
COVID-19 PREVENTION

infectious diseases in your community. It is very important to wash your hand frequently with soap under running water.

COVID-19 IS REAL

#COVID19NIGERIA Situation Report

The #COVID19Nigeria situation report for 21st July, 2020 has been published. Our daily reports provide a summary of the epidemiological situation & response activities in Nigeria

The #COVID19Nigeria situation report for 21st July, 2020 has been published. Our daily reports provide a summary of the epidemiological situation & response activities in Nigeria

@Africa CDC

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

GALLANT OFFICER

Gallant Officer
"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

Trending