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HomeCovid-19The Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories and 5G Infrastructure Attacks

The Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories and 5G Infrastructure Attacks

Although it might be evident to most that there couldn’t be a connection between the current global pandemic and the new network infrastructure breakthrough, 5G, there have been several misconceptions surrounding the topic of how 5G networks and COVID-19 are related. 

The virus has created a global pandemic that is relatively new, and that coincidently came at the same time as the new 5G network technology. 

This has led many to propagate loose and incorrect theories that aim to connect 5G to the COVID-19 outbreak, which can be highly infuriating not to mention destructive.

In this sense, a senior analyst, John Gregory, who works at the NewsGuard, an online browser extension that uses journalism to fight unreliable news by labeling sources with either a green or red icon which indicates its trustworthiness, investigated the possible existence of a relationship between the global pandemic and the 5G network breakthrough.

A French website affiliated with conspiracy theories French called “Les moutons enragés”, was one of the first platforms that Gregory found spreading this 5g/Covid-19 propaganda. 

The platform began pushing baseless information stating that there is a millimeter-wave spectrum used by the Covid-19 and the 5G network, thereby assuming that the two could be broadly related.

Other websites making identical claims spread like wildfire as claims snowballed into all types of extreme speculations.

For instance, a controversial interview was published by a Belgian newspaper, ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’, with a local doctor who claimed the 5G network had aided the virus outbreak.

The doctor’s main argument was that cell phone towers were just installed near Wuhan when Covid-19 first appeared. 

Although the blog post was removed a couple of hours after publication, the propaganda had already spread across several Facebook and other social media platforms and even wilder speculations arose among conspiracy theorists.

Some believed that the 5G network can cause radiation, which in turn aids the spread of the virus while others even believed that the installation of the network mast is a cover-up mission for Covid-19.

Besides, many went as far as accusing governments of withholding information about the spread of coronavirus regarding crucial facts and figures of the outbreak. 

In the face of confusion, several individuals have dedicated themselves to sharing fake news about this theory across different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. 

Day after day, the idea of a connection between Covid-19 and the 5G networks conspiracy grew to generate thousands of supporters on social media. 

Bloomberg has reported that there was some strong evidence gathered that a lot of efforts were geared towards pushing content relating to the 5G coronavirus debacle. 

But, Facebook groups were somewhat the main hub for spreading misinformation about the 5G/Covid-19 connection. 

This propaganda also gained huge media attention when notable people in society amplified it, especially on social media. 

For instance, the famous American rapper, Wiz Khalifa, tweeted “Corona? 5G? Or both?”

Such ill-informed posts did not help the matter. Rather, they made it worse.

Aside from celebrities’ posts, there was some other narrative claiming the involvement of Bill Gates in the pandemic. 

The theory does not only claim that Bill Gates caused the virus outbreak, but it claims that he also used the 5G network to push his agenda around the world. 

It has been one of the widely believed and most popular misconceptions on the internet. 

Most of these insinuations and theories came about due to the several confusing details propagated about Covid-19 combined with fears relating to cellular technologies. 

However, the logic behind this was very basic and naive, going off the fact that since the network and the virus outbreak are both new, then somehow they must be related. 

Although many people have attempted to link the Covid-19 outbreak with the 5G network technology, many experts continued attempting to prove this as a weak correlation and a baseless argument. 

Tom Philips, a renowned editor of a UK based fact-checking company, has given strong evidence regarding how there are several misconceptions, baseless conspiracy theories, and misguided political narratives about the 5G network. 

In the past, similar trends were observed during the invention and introduction of both the 3G network and Wi-Fi to the populace. 

A website regarded to as “uncensored health news” has previously warned about dangers associated with the 5G technology network. 

Despite all aggressive speculations, there has been no tangible link between Covid-19 and the 5G network so far, more so, the safety of the new network solutions have been reaffirmed, while regulations and several standards have been put in place. 

Facebook has also attempted to put an end to the ever-spreading misconceptions by blocking accounts that share any Covid-19/5G theories. 

Yet, despite the effort to halt this, baseless conspiracy theories continued to escalate, resulting in consequences on the real world as many remain convinced that the 5G network impairs people’s health and that Covid-19 was its end result. 

The danger of such theories on our reality has been subject to a research report from the Zignal Labs, which is a SaaS-based media intelligence software company that provides services in marketing and public relations.

The lab studied and revealed the overlaps between the anti-vaccination conspiracy theories and the 5G network. 

Also, many horrible incidents took place following the 5G network conspiracy theories. 

Incidents in the UK

For instance, a considerable number of mobile phone masts in the United Kingdom have been damaged by fire by individuals who believe the 5G conspiracy theory. 

Abuse toward the staff working on mobile network infrastructures has been also carried out. 

For instance, the staff of “Openreach” has recorded up to 63 occurrences of violent harassment. 

(Openreach is a wholly owned subsidiary of the British telecommunications company BT plc. The division’s work consists of maintaining telephone cables, cabinets, ducts as well as exchanges that connect the national broadband and telephone network to almost all houses and companies in the UK.)

In this sense, the company has voiced its deepest regrets seeing how its engineers are targeted by the so-called attackers of the 5G network mast. 

It is “saddening and frustrating”, said Catherine Colloms, Openreach’s managing director. 

According to the Silicon UK news, the CEO of Openreach, Clive Selley, reportedly confirmed the horrifying acts of violence its engineers experienced during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June alone, Openreach underwent an equal number of conspiracy related incidents of terrorizing as it suffered during the previous 12 months.

The public confronted engineers placing cables or performing repair work and ordered them to explain whether they were installing 5G invading their work environment and often filming them without their consent.

In April, Selley stated to the Daily Telegraph that the disgraceful attacks left one of the company’s telecom engineers, a man in his forties, with five stab wounds following a savage attack that took place in Kilburn, north London. Luckily, the attack was not fatal and the engineer was later discharged from hospital.

The motivations behind the assault are unclear; however, it coincided with a period of peak abuse against telecom workers over baseless 5G related conspiracy theories.

Following these disgraceful attacks, engineers working in mobile companies all over the UK were afraid for their lives especially since, during the pandemic, they were verbally abused, masts were being burned, and they were being spat at by strangers putting them further in danger (as this a way of transmitting the COVID-19 virus).  

BT plc’s chief executive, Philip Jansen, also revealed that a total of 39 engineers at his company were assaulted verbally or physically while many more received death threats.

Other manifestations of violence also included torching and destroying several mobile phone masts across the UK that were not even 5G equipped.

For instance, the CEO of Vodafone UK’s branch, Nick Jeffery, reported that the public vandalized one of the company’s towers that arranged provided mobile connections to the Nightingale hospital in Birmingham. 

As a result, many people were stripped of the chance to remotely check on or say goodbye to loved ones.

In other incidents, people wrapped telephone poles, which are landline cables and have nothing to do with the 5G mobile network, in barbed wire to stop its engineers from doing their jobs. This is exactly what happened to the company BT as explained by Philip Jansen.

Incidents in the US

Detailed data gathered by WIRED, a reputable American magazine that concentrates on how emerging technologies affect the politics, culture, and economy, has shown that more than a dozen of the cellular network mast have been attacked in just two weeks, while the attackers are also targeting other network infrastructures and their key workers. 

According to an article by the news site, Tennessee Lookout, published on November 20, 2020, more than five cellphone towers in the general Memphis area have been vandalized since the beginning of the pandemic.

Besides, at least three patrol towers, run by the state of Tennessee for emergency communications, had the same fate.

No clear suspects were identified but the sabotage, officials believe, is most likely associated with the COVID-19 5G conspiracy theories.

ABC News also investigated similar incidents and issued a detailed report in May. 

The analysis revealed numerous strikes against cellphone towers around the US fueled by the 5G conspiracy theory. 

Moreover, in the short period between February and April, as many as 14 cell towers in western Tennessee alone were turned off on purpose by disabling their electrical breakers, according to ABC.

Sadly, conspiracy theories about this topic may take a while before they subside, and it would be foolish to think that they will easily go away. 

At this point, one can only hope that people will come to understand that the 5G/Covid-19 conspiracy theory couldn’t be further from the truth, as well as realize that in the grand scheme of things, their baseless claims can generate a huge threat.

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