Ofcom has fined a Christian broadcaster £125,000 after it breached the rules by airing “inaccurate and potentially harmful claims about coronavirus”.
Loveworld Television Network was found to have made the violation back in January after a 29-hour show titled The Global Day of Prayer featured sermons with “potentially harmful” claims about Covid-19 – including that the virus was “planned” and created by the “deep state”, and vaccines were a “sinister” means of administering “nanochips” to control people.
Ofcom had already ordered Loveworld not to repeat the programme and to broadcast a summary of its decision three times in a day, but has now issued the fine after concluding the breaches were “serious, repeated and reckless”.
It marks the second time in a year that the regulator has ruled against Loveworld Limited for unsubstantiated claims made about Covid-19 on air.
In April 2020, Loveworld broadcast false claims that the cause of coronavirus was linked to the rollout of 5G technology.
During one of the network’s news programmes, a presenter claimed the bogus link represented “the largest global cover-up in history”, and continued: “This is not coronavirus, but cell poisoning. Remember 5G started in China. Wuhan is one of the provinces where 5G has been rolled out.”
Loveworld was made to explain on-air how it was found to have broken the rules, but no further action was taken against the channel in that case.