The religious television channel Loveworld has been sanctioned after Ofcom deemed both a news programme and a love sermon contained “potentially harmful claims” about the causes of Covid-19.
An investigation by the regulator found a report on Loveworld News claimed 5G was the cause of the pandemic, and that this was the subject of a “global cover-up”. Another report during the programme presented hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for Covid-19, without acknowledging that its effectiveness and safety as a treatment was clinically unproven, or making clear that it has potentially serious side effects.
A sermon broadcast on Your Loveworld also included unsubstantiated claims linking the pandemic to 5G technology; as well as claims which cast serious doubt on the necessity for lockdown measures and the motives behind official health advice on Covid-19.
Ofcom says these were presented as facts without evidence or challenge.
The regulator stressed there is no prohibition on broadcasting controversial views which diverge from, or challenge, official authorities on public health information. However, unsubstantiated claims should be put into context, particularly in this case as they risked undermining viewers’ trust in official health advice, with potentially serious consequences for public health.