Conspiracy Nuts Latch Onto 5G As Cause Of Virus

The Guardian reports:

Telecoms engineers are facing verbal and physical threats during the lockdown, as baseless conspiracy theories linking coronavirus to the roll-out of 5G technology spread by celebrities such as Amanda Holden prompt members of the public to abuse those maintaining vital mobile phone and broadband networks.

Facebook has removed one anti-5G group in which users were being encouraged to supply footage of them destroying mobile phone equipment, with some contributors seemingly under the pretence that it may stop the spread of coronavirus and some running leaderboards of where equipment had been targeted.

Video footage of a 70ft (20 metre) telephone mast on fire in Birmingham this week has also circulated widely alongside claims it was targeted by anti-5G protesters. Network operator EE told the Guardian that its engineers were still on site assessing the cause of the fire but it “looks likely at this time” that it was an arson attack.

Buzzfeed News reports:

The most-watched anti-5G video on YouTube currently, according to BuzzSumo, is a Russian-language video titled “Here’s Why 5G Is Dangerous.” Published in January, it has been viewed 1.2 million times.

There are countless more of these kinds of videos being shared on Facebook right now, with commenters connecting the supposed dangers of 5G to the real dangers of the coronavirus. Eight out of the ten most-engaged-with Facebook posts in the last six months about 5G were either a video or article warning people that 5G was dangerous and relating it to the pandemic.

Earlier this week, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones connected 5G to a popular QAnon theory that April 1, 2020, would be the start of “10 days of darkness” — or an electricity, internet, and social media outage signaling the end of the world.

Fast Company reports:

Videos with the title “FORMER VODAFONE BOSS BLOWS WHISTLE ON 5G CORONAVIRUS” are flooding YouTube from various accounts with the goal of espousing this narrative. They appeared to have slipped past YouTube’s effort to take down misinformation about the coronavirus. One of these videos has reached some 13,000 views as of this writing.

Google and Facebook have been working to combat misinformation around COVID-19. But some fraudulent content is still getting through.

In this video, which is being posted from multiple accounts, an anonymous narrator with a pleasant English accent (supposedly Vodafone’s former CEO), explains that 5G is poisoning our cells and our cells responding by trying to expel that “toxicity.” This is plainly false. Links between 5G and COVID-19 have been widely debunked.