Despite 5G’s lack of a plausible connection to cancer or some other disease, conspiracy theories are already thriving on social media and other areas of the internet.
Now, in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, conspiracy theorists have developed a narrative that ties 5 G to COVID-19 spread. Such unfounded allegations have also contributed to the torching of mobile phone towers and the bullying of engineers in the UK.
A 70-foot (20-meter) mobile phone tower in Birmingham was set on fire earlier this week, and a video of the incident circulated on Facebook among many anti-5G groups. Facebook later removed those posts, which prompted other social media sites to do the same.
Police are still investigating the cause of the fire, but EE engineers on the scene believe that it was the work of vendals. A third tower was torched on Friday, this time at Merseyside. Until fire and rescue services could extinguish the flames, both the tower and the control panels were destroyed.
This is just the latest wave of anti-5G sentiment in the UK, where people have threatened telecommunications staff over the past month. These staff are classified as vital to keeping required communications online as many work from home in the country.
Remote staff, hospitals, and emergency responders also rely on telecommunications networks, and vital infrastructure disruption only hinders those efforts. In most cases, threatened staff installed fibre-optic cables that had little to do with 5G.
Concerning the relation between 5G and COVID-19, any emerging rumors should be disproved by the countries that have yet to roll out the technology such as Japan and Iran. Independent fact-checking group Full Fact has also checked the allegations and found no merit to them.