The culture secretary is to order social media companies to be more aggressive in their response to conspiracy theories linking 5G networks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Oliver Dowden plans to hold virtual meetings with representatives from several tech 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.
“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.”
Facebook said it had also removed a number of groups that were encouraging attacks on 5G masts.