John Gregory first saw the news linking 5G to the new corona virus pandemic on a French conspiracy theory website called Les moutons enrags. The January 20 post said the millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G may be related to the new corona virus. Three months later, conspiracy theorists spread similar claims and began burning mobile towers in Europe.
A mobile phone tower attached to a chimney in Huddersfield, northern England, was burned down, pictured with damaged cables and telecommunications equipment, pictured on 17 April
Gregory is a senior analyst at NewsGuard, an internet trust tool. He noticed the early 5G new corona virus conspiracy theory, but it wasn’t long before the rumors were flying. The blog post on the French website came just two days after a Belgian newspaper called Het Laatste Nieuws published an interview with a local doctor. The doctor, who has a letter, also said the outbreak of the new coronavirus could be linked to a 5G tower installed in 2019. Although the article was deleted a few hours later, it did not stop the conspiracy theories from spreading quickly on Facebook’s English-language page. Gregory was not surprised.
“From the beginning of the 5G concept, before the signal tower and 5G network came online, there were many people who thought 5G was harmful to human health,” he told reporters. “
The original theory of linking coronaviruses to 5G has now morphed into all sorts of absurd speculations. Some people believe that 5G networks can cause radiation, which in turn causes viruses. Others claim that reports of the new corona virus are in fact a cover-up of installed 5G signal towers. Others even argue that the 5G and new coronavirus outbreaks are part of a big conspiracy to “reduce the population of the planet”. There is also a theory that these may all be related to Monsanto, the US agricultural giant.
Not only do these rumors sound appealing, they are actually dangerous. When people believe in it and act on it, they are bound to hurt and hurt themselves. By early April, conspiracy theorists had burned several cell towers in Europe and began infiltrating with other conspiracy-theory groups, such as anti-vaccine activists, to create panic that they could pose a threat to public health. In the face of these fears, the hotbeds of spreading rumors – platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – are still unknown whether they will be able to take steps to clean up the frenzied rhetoric.
5G conspiracy theories have a long history
The far-fetched and false reasons that link 5G technology and the new coronavirus outbreak to each other are thousands and wordsless. Some people are only because 5G and the new coronavirus are new, so believe that there must be some kind of connection between them. Others have pointed the finger at dubious sources such as misunderstood legislation as evidence that the government is hiding something from the global crisis. At the end of the day, though, much of the idea stems from the persistent confusion about 5G technology and long-term concerns about the future of new cellular technology.
“It’s a bunch of demons – you can find all sorts of political tendencies and different types of conspiracy theories in 5G conspiracy theories,” explains Tom Phillips, editor of Full Fact, a British fact-checking agency. He also noted that there had been similar concerns before when 3G and WiFi were first in the public eye. “The same worry is just a resurgence of 5G. “
Paranoia addicts to conspiracy theories can find a large number of smelly companions on the Internet. There are “truth fighters” who have been relentless in questioning the truth about the 9/11 attacks, others who see survivors of mass shootings as “participants in disaster” and those who believe that the condensation trail (the trajectory of water condensation left by planes flying in the air) is a dangerous chemical. These theories, though unjustifiable, tend to be mixed with each other, and they persist in crises, especially in crises where we still lack sufficient understanding. The new coronavirus pandemic is no exception.
This type of conspiracy theory related to wireless technology has been around for decades. The heated debate, such as that mobile phones will not lead to brain cancer or mental control, seems to have found a new direction with the advent of 5G technology. Like previous generations of cellular technology, some theories suggest that 5G causes cancer or somehow kills birds. There are also more extreme theories that the technology causes “electromagnetic sensitivity”, which in turn causes headaches and damages the immune system.
Last year, the media found a Florida physicist named Bill Curry while tracing the source of the current 5G anxiety. Inaccurate studies he published suggest edisome sedit edifying a link between increased frequency of radio waves and damage to brain tissue. But Curry ignores the fact that skin and skulls protect the human brain from radiation. However, one of Curry’s charts for the study has become a classic in cellular conspiracy theory circles. Alex Jones, founder of russian television network RT and Infowars, has been using such concepts to promote the theory of the dangers of 5G technology. “Information War” even sells T-shirts emblazoned with the words “5G Kills”.
This spring, the frequency of new corona viruses appearing with 5G has skyrocketed on social media.Source:Zignal Labs
Most sites that have spread 5G conspiracy theories before are starting to instill in their viewers the link between 5G and the new corona virus. For example, Natural News, an “uncensored health news report” site, has long since begun to spread the so-called dangers of 5G technology. Recently, the headline on the site read: “… Does the 5G deployment destroy the locals’ innate defense cells and expose people to death threats from the new coronavirus? “
As with previous conspiracy theories, the 5G new corona virus conspiracy theory theory has naturally had a lot of supporters on social media. Most of the new coronavirus epidemic conspiracy theories breed in anti-5G Facebook groups, such as Stop 5G Global Community, which has been in existence for a year and has more than 8,000 members, and “Lawful Stop 5G Rebellion No No Violence”, which has been in existence for three years and has nearly 35,000 members. Twitter and YouTube are also hotbeds for 5G fake news. Bloomberg has previously reported that there is evidence of an organized and systematic push behind the content of the 5G new corona virus, although the details and origin of the thrust are not yet known.
It now appears that the earliest posts linking 5G to the new corona virus appeared in mid-January. The Belgian doctor’s report is often considered an incendiary incident.
Even so, the exact source of the 5G new corona virus conspiracy theory remains a mystery. Zignal Labs, an intelligence platform that studies online speech, tracked a Twitter account that questioned the link between the surge in 5G base stations and the virus in a January 19 posting. The post also retweeted a “Russia Today” story about a new virus similar to the flu virus. Although the posts are very interactive, but also enough to show that 5G new corona virus conspiracy theories have begun to spread. Judging by data collected by Zignal Labs on Twitter and other platforms, the 5G new corona virus conspiracy theory has only begun to gain widespread attention more than two months after it began to fester on the Internet.
The real opportunity for the plot to catch on is that internet fans are starting to tell their fans about 5G and the alleged links that may have existed before the outbreak. In March, interest in the conspiracy theory skyrocketed during singer Keri Hilson’s Twitter post:
For so many years, the warning about 5G has not stopped. Petitions, organizations, research… What we are experiencing now is the consequences of radiation.
On November 1, 2019, people began to get sick and die after the introduction of 5G… Please be sure to disable LTE and turn off 5G !!!
In early April, interest in such conspiracy theories rose again. The attack on more than 50 of Britain’s more than 50 towers made international news, leading executives at companies such as Verizon and Vodafone to call for government intervention.
Influencers continue to spread conspiracy theories. On April 3, rapper Wiz Khalifa tweeted, “New crown? 5G? Or are they the same? On the same day, Hollywood star Woody Harrison posted a video of the conspiracy theory on Instagram, which has more than 2 million followers (and so far the posts have been deleted). British rapper M.I.A., boxer Amir Khan, actor John Cusack, music producer Teddy Riley and TV personality Amanda Holden have been sharing their views on conspiracy theories with their millions of fans. Until April 20th, conservative commentators Diamond and Serk were spreading some sort of so-called link between 5G and the new corona virus to their millions of fans.
Supporters of Anonymous Q(QAnon) have also been involved in the spread of 5G conspiracy theories. An anonymous Q supporter believes that the symptoms of the infection are suspected to be similar to “5G exposure”, which is also absurd and untrue. The supporter also linked Italy’s high rate of diagnosis to the country’s 5G deployment. She said on Twitter: “If you link the symptoms of the new coronavirus (Which I personally think is a hypothetical disease to mask the side effects of a 5G deployment) to 5G, the media will say it’s a conspiracy theory.” “
The most frequent new corona virus conspiracy theories have appeared on social media, the first for Bill Gates, and the second for 5G to trigger a new coronavirus outbreak…
Conspiracy theorists certainly didn’t let bill Gates go. They believe that Bill Gates may have been behind the virus. According to Zignal Labs, the new coronavirus conspiracy theory theory is the most popular on the web. They also added 5G conditment to the conspiracy theory that Bill Gates not only created the outbreak, but also used 5G to achieve his goals. A tweet that received thousands of likes and retweets not only supported Bill Gates’s connection to the new corona virus, but also said Facebook was blocking accounts that shared the 5G new corona virus conspiracy theory theory, which was suspicious.
Conspiracy theories about 5G and the new corona virus are ridiculous, but none of them are the point. During an outbreak, a person’s understanding of reality, especially how it maps to their actions, has a direct impact on the health of those around them. In the UK, for example, vandals tried to burn down towers used in nearby hospitals in an arson attack in the UK. Perhaps, just as they were wreaking havoc, seriously ill patients were using signal towers to try to get in touch with their loved ones. In any community, those who are skeptical of the fact that the new coronavirus pandemic is likely to refuse to take steps to prevent the spread of the virus.
“If you believe that 5G is the real cause of the spread of the new corona virus, then why do you still wear a mask?” Why keep your social distance? Alan Duke, a staff member at Lead Stories, another fact-checking organization that works with Facebook, cautioned.
As time goes on, things may get worse. Zignal Labs’s research shows that there is an overlap between anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and 5G conspiracy theories. This may need attention, as some conspiracy theorists may refuse to vaccinate the new coronavirus vaccine after it is finally developed. This would put more vulnerable groups at risk.
Tech companies have a long way to go
What is particularly frustrating about all this is that technology companies are already struggling with the new corona virus’s disinformation. But as long as the outbreak comes out in the news, fake news about the new coronavirus will flood.
The federal government has actively opposed this conspiracy theory. In a statement, a spokesman for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) insisted that “5G technology has nothing to do with the spread of the new corona virus.” The FCC also recommended that people go to the F.B.I. rumor management page to learn more about the true information about the various conspiracy theories.
As the new corona virus conspiracy theory becomes more rampant, the measures taken by technology platforms are becoming more radical. Even so, these platforms have not been able to completely curb the false information associated with the new coronavirus pandemic, especially when it comes to 5G technology.
Facebook says it has stepped up efforts to remove false information and conspiracy theories related to the new virus. Previously, the company has worked with third parties such as StoryLeads and Full Fact to mark only these fake news and conspiracy theory posts as “verified.” Now, these posts containing false information about the 5G and new coronavirus outbreaks, as well as other untruthful new coronavirus-related content, will be deleted directly. Facebook has also begun notifying users of fake content they have read before, and has also begun restricting groups that continue to spread false information.
In a Facebook post on April 20, the founder of a 5G conspiracy theory Facebook group suggested that there might be a link between conspiracy theorists and anti-Semitic David Icke, Elon Musk and George Soros.
Last week, Facebook removed two large anti-5G groups. It comes after a report by Not Hope Hate, an anti-hate nonprofit, that said the community was being used to incite people to destroy cell towers. Still, some anti-5G Facebook groups are active, continuing to discuss conspiracy theories related to Bill Gates.
YouTube, the video platform, also seems unimpressed with such content. YouTube deleted a video of David Icke’s interview after he spread 5G conspiracy theories in a live interview. YouTube says it is currently violating the platform’s policy by spreading content that does not exist or is caused by 5G. However, as of the time this article was published, you can still see a number of similar videos as of the time you search the platform.
Twitter deletes only some posts. A company spokesman said the platform was giving priority to deleting posts that contained content that “incited potentially harmful behavior.” The company said it had removed more than 2,200 offending posts containing new viral content since March 18.
Fighting dangerous conspiracy theories will largely be a protracted battle. Part of the reason for bringing the 5G new corona virus conspiracy theory into the mainstream is that we lack a good understanding of how viruses spread and how they work, and our scientists are still trying to find answers to these questions. But these conspiracy theories about 5G, about the new corona virus, have been on the Internet, until celebrity online celebrities have been pushed up, it is widespread. At the same time, others took to the streets to protest, set fire to towers and force the media, politicians and business leaders to respond.
One advantage of exposing these conspiracy theories to the sun, however, is that they can also be censored. When the plot is uncovered, believers will have nowhere to hide. Therefore, it can be expected that in the coming months, the 5G new corona virus conspiracy theory will gradually stop. And now content censors on technology platforms such as Facebook and Twitter already know who their enemies are, or at least that’s a good thing.
It’s just that such conspiracy theories won’t go away completely. Presumably, 5G new coronavirus conspiracy theories will eventually be the same as other conspiracy theories: 5G, for example, kills birds or honeycomb technology causes brain cancer or WiFi causes mental control, and becomes part of the classic. We can only hope that as more and more people learn about the 5G new corona virus conspiracy theory, more and more people will see the truth.