UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom has sanctioned Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s LoveWorld Television Ministry for airing false and “potentially harmful statements” about the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Ofcom said the Christian channel aired a sermon that promoted a baseless conspiracy that the virus is linked to the roll-out of 5G Network.
It also insinuated a “global coverup”.
In addition Loveworld news also claimed that hydroxychloroquine is a cure for COVID-19, without proof.
“Our investigation found that a report on Loveworld News included unsubstantiated claims that 5G was the cause of the pandemic, and that this was the subject of a ‘global cover-up’, Ofcom said.
“Another report during the programme suggested 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”, it added.
Ofcom said Loveworld breached Rules 2.1 and 5.1 of the Broadcasting Code.
Loveworld’s sanction was non-monetary, for now. Ofcom simply wanted it to broadcast its findings that debunked its fake news and sermon.
But it also warned about a further sanction: “We are considering whether to impose any further sanction,” the statement added.
Loveworld TV was not the only violator of the UK broadcasting code punished by Ofcom on Monday.