Coronavirus isn’t the only thing affecting the world, we’re also living in an age of misinformation which is worse as sooner or later we’ll find a cure for the pandemic but the latter seems difficult to solve. As reported by the BBC, at least three phone towers were set ablaze past week in the UK and emergency services had to be called in to contain the fire.
Several including telecom companies and cops believe that the reason behind the towers being set ablaze is an absurd coronavirus-5G conspiracy theory floating around on social media platforms in the UK.
5G-Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory
A rubbish 5G-coronavirus conspiracy theory is making rounds on social media networks like Facebook and NextDoor. It claims that the coronavirus originated in Wuhan because China rolled out 5G in the country. And now the virus is spreading in other countries that are adopting the new cellular network technology.
However, the conspiracy theory fails to mention the fact that coronavirus has also impacted countries like Japan and Iran where 5G hasn’t been deployed yet.
This is the consequence of those bonkers Facebook conspiracy theories about 5G. Key workers getting harassed on the street. pic.twitter.com/5z35r6sabp
— Charlie Haynes (@charliehtweets) April 2, 2020
The conspiracy theory is spreading like wildfire, leading to UK residents harassing workers who were laying down optical fiber cables and phone lines. This comes at a time when the country is suffering immensely at the hands of coronavirus, and telephone service is essential amidst the lockdown imposed to contain the virus.
A video posted on Facebook is further fueling the coronavirus-5G conspiracy theory. It mentions that 5G is creating the virus and it’s sucking the oxygen out of lungs.
5G causes coronavirus because it’s sucking the oxygen out of your lungs, according to a video being spread on Facebook. I want to ? but the fact people believe this bullshit is genuinely scary pic.twitter.com/kY3g5MJtu9
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 3, 2020
Is 5G Really The Reason Behind Coronavirus?
There are no scientific studies to prove the relation between 5G and coronavirus. Amidst the rising theories, a UK-based fact-checking charity organization tried to probe the matter. It concluded that the higher frequency radio waves used in 5G have electromagnetic radiations that are well below the international guidelines.
Condemning the act of arson in the UK, Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery said: “This is now a matter of national security. Police and counter-terrorism authorities are investigating.”
Speaking to The Guardian, YouTube said that it will remove the videos from its platform that are promoting the baseless 5G-coronavirus conspiracy theory and will put in efforts to suppress such content.
Besides efforts from internet platforms, it is also recommended that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. It could lead to the spread of misinformation and damaging acts as we saw in the UK.