Stop 5G Petition Removed For Spreading Misinformation
An online petition which falsely claimed 5G causes coronavirus has been taken down after it was signed by more than 100,000 people.
Many conspiracy theories have circulated online since news of the virus first made headlines.
One of the more dangerous is the claim that 5G (fifth generation) networks are linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 5G network is a wireless mobile network that was rolled out in 2019 to help improve telecommunications connectivity.
5G has recently led to anarchy in the U.K., where network towers have been set on fire after conspiracy theories misleadingly linked them to the coronavirus.
The BBC reported at least three instances of towers ablaze within one week.
Referring to those incidents, a spokeswoman for Vodafone U.K told the publication "we have received several reports of criminal damage to phone masts and abuse of telecoms engineers apparently inspired by crackpot conspiracy theories circulating online".
Scientists for England's National Health Service claim the connection between COVID-19 and 5G is "complete rubbish".
NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis told the BBC the claim was the "worst kind of fake news".
However, this didn't stop the spread of the conspiracy theory, with thousands of people, including some celebrities, signing a Change.org petition calling for the stop of the rollout of 5G in the U.K.
The platform has since removed the petition citing 'misinformation'.
A spokesperson for Change.org told The Independent that the petition was removed because it went against scientific facts about 5G.
The U.K. Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) says "there is absolutely no credible evidence" of a link between 5G and coronavirus."
Telstra lists that most Australian cities have 5G capabilities as well as the other areas in the country that have the connectivity.
However, the anti-5G interest has also surged locally with Google search data showing 'Is 5G Safe' is one of the top trending online searches of the last week.
On Facebook, an Adelaide user recently shared a video taken near a shopping centre of what she claimed was a 5G tower disguised as a palm tree.
"If they had nothing to hide, they wouldn’t be doing this. This is proof, they don’t want the public to know what is happening. I can’t believe it", one user commented.
Despite the concerns, The World Health Organisation says that only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies used by 5G and so far no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies.
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