• Sofia Eugeniou

UK public raise concerns over 5G

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

5G: A coronavirus conspiracy theory?

It has been pretty hard to navigate life in recent months without hearing or reading about 5G, the latest conspiracy theory taking over the internet and dominating many of our conversations.

Posted in January on a French conspiracy website called Les moutons enragés, the first connections between 5G and the coronavirus was made. Ideas circulated that the millimetre wave spectrum used by 5G technology and COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus, could be related. Fingers were then pointed to reports about Wuhan installing 5G towers just before the outbreak in late 2019.

Within three months, conspiracy theorists making similar claims were setting 5G cell phone towers on fire in Europe.

Conspiracy theories surrounding phone signals and human health have existed for years but coinciding with the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the UK and its nation-wide lockdown, it is no wonder 5G conspiracies began to gain traction in late March and early April.

Image credit: REUTERS/Carl Recine

A number of speculations have been made over the use of 5G networks and their harmful effects on humans.

Some suggest that 5G networks cause radiation, which, in turn, triggers COVID-19. Others claim reportings of coronavirus were just a cover-up for the installation of 5G towers. Even wilder, numerous individuals are pushing the idea that 5G and COVID-19 are part of a wider effort to “depopulate” Earth.

These unfounded claims are also dangerous. Where these theories have caused people to act out, conditions are produced that can place people at harm.

Over 70 cell phone towers in the UK have been victim to arson attacks since the coronavirus outbreak. Daily attacks are now very low, but they have not stopped entirely.

Engineers installing the 5G technology have also felt the brunt of dangerous and anti-social behaviour exhibited by 5G conspiracy theorists. There have been 40 incidents so far where BT employees have been abused, either physically or verbally. Shockingly, one engineer was even stabbed and hospitalised.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, have helped spread conspiracy theories around 5G.

Legal action against 5G in the United Kingdom is being taken, however. Headed by Michael Mansfield QC, legal proceedings are currently in action to challenge the UK government's (Public Health England) failure to sufficiently recognise the health and safety risks of wireless radiation and the increased exposure from the deployment of 5G.

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