Mobile Towers Are Being Burned Down Over A Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory
A baseless conspiracy theory claiming the 5G phone network is responsible for the spread of COVID-19 has seen mobile towers across the UK being set on fire.
Police are investigating three incidents as possible arson cases related to conspiracy theories around 5G, with several mobile towers going up in flames across the UK.
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson told The Guardian he received threats from a conspiracist concerning the "bizarre theory" hours before a 5G mast was lit on fire on Friday (local time).
“The suggestion that Covid-19 is somehow linked to 5G is patently beyond the realms of credibility – utterly bizarre,” Anderson told The Guardian.
“In Liverpool, these masts are being upgraded and ironically the very people that are using this technology are the ones who are believing these theories. I was mildly threatened yesterday by someone telling me to take them down," he added.
“The reality is there is huge pressure on the network at the moment with so many people at home and that’s why engineers are upgrading it."
"The idea that I have entered into some kind of machiavellian plot with the government is ridiculous."
Similar fires have occurred in Birmingham, Liverpool and Melling in Merseyside.
The theory -- which has spread in Facebook groups and other online discussion forums -- claims 5G suppresses the immune system and that viruses can communicate through radio waves. However, these theories do not stack up with scientific evidence.
Police in Northern Ireland are also appealing for information after online footage emerged of a mobile phone mast being destroyed in an arson attack in north Belfast on Thursday.
According to a report in the Irish News, the video shows a phone mast ablaze, with voices in the recording appearing to say "Viva la revolution" and "f**k the 5G".
The U.K.'s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport issued a statement about the "inaccurate information" online yesterday, stressing "absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus".
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove labelled the conspiracy theory "dangerous nonsense".
Despite the theory not being rooted in truth, it has gained considerable momentum online, spreading through applications like WhatsApp and via Facebook groups.
Interest in the conspiracy theory has grown to new heights during the pandemic, with data from Google showing searches for '5G dangers' was globally five times higher this week.
In Australia, 'Is 5G safe?' was also the second top trending Google search this week.
Australia's Chief Medical Officer has assured Australians that 5G technology is safe and does not pose a risk to their health.
"There is no evidence telecommunication technologies, such as 5G, cause adverse health impacts,"Professor Brendan Murphy said in a statement in January.
"This position is supported by health authorities in Australia -- such as the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency -- and around the world, such as the World Health Organisation," he added.
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