Ofcom Probes ITV Host’s Comments on 5G-Virus Conspiracy Theory


The U.K.’s communications regulator is investigating broadcaster ITV Plc after one among its top hosts suggested there could also be truth to a conspiracy theory linking subsequent generation of wireless technology to the spread of coronavirus.



The U.K.’s communications regulator is investigating broadcaster ITV Plc after one among its top hosts suggested there could also be truth to a conspiracy theory linking subsequent generation of wireless technology to the spread of coronavirus.

Ofcom said in an e-mailed statement it received 419 complaints about the difficulty and it’s “assessing the program fully as a priority,” because the view is spurring attacks on telecom engineers and equipment.

Monday’s edition of daytime show This Morning discussed groundless theories linking 5G to the illness, with one among the program’s presenters saying the views weren't true. Host Eamonn Holmes then said “what I don’t accept is mainstream media immediately slapping that down as not true once they don’t know it’s not true.”

“No one should attack or damage, or do anything like that, but it’s very easy to mention it's not true because it suits the state narrative,” he said. “That’s all i might say as someone with an inquiring mind.”

On Tuesday’s edition of the program, Holmes said his comments had been misinterpreted, which there's no connection between 5G and therefore the virus. An ITV spokeswoman referred Bloomberg to his Tuesday statement.

Proponents of the idea on the web and social media have recently fueled a spate of attacks on mobile masts within the U.K. Some researchers say the conspiracy is getting boosted by a coordinated campaign.

The investigation comes after the U.K. government has found out special units to combat misinformation about the virus, and says it’s pressing social media companies to contain the spread of false reports and rumors “which could cost lives.” Ofcom has already sanctioned alittle station for featuring a guest who claimed 5G caused the pandemic.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has found no evidence suggesting 5G poses a risk to human health. The Ofcom investigation was first reported by Reuters.