Decision – Loveworld Limited
Ofcom has found Loveworld Limited in breach of broadcasting rules on its religious service, Loveworld for a third time. Ofcom found that during two episodes of a current affairs programme, Full Disclosure, presenters made a number of materially misleading and potentially harmful statements about the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines, which were made without scientific or other credible basis, and which went without sufficient context or challenge. Ofcom’s investigation has found these programmes breached Rules 2.1 and 2.2 of the Broadcasting Code.
It is legitimate for broadcasters to discuss and scrutinise the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic – including the potential side effects of vaccinations – and it is in the public interest to do so. But Loveworld’s presentation of misleading claims without sufficient challenge or context risked potential serious harm to viewers, particularly at a time when people were likely to be seeking reliable information relating to the UK’s vaccination programme.
This is the third time that harmful coronavirus-related content on Loveworld has broken Ofcom’s rules. We recently imposed a £125,000 fine on the channel for a breach which also related to claims about the coronavirus pandemic. We have directed Loveworld to broadcast a summary of Ofcom’s decision, and are now considering whether to impose any further sanctions.