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Home Uncategorized Government slams 'baseless' conspiracy theory that 5G is linked to coronavirus

Government slams 'baseless' conspiracy theory that 5G is linked to coronavirus

The Government has slammed a conspiracy theory linking the coronavirus outbreak to 5G.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said there was ‘no credible evidence’ to support the belief.

It comes after firefighters extinguished a telecommunications tower blaze in Birmingham last night following posts on social media encouraging people to burn 5G masts.

This afternoon DCMS tweeted: “We are aware of inaccurate information being shared online about 5G. There is absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus.”

It also shared a link to a fact-checking website which debunked the theory.

‘Arsonists’ set fire to a mast in Birmingham last night (Image: Birmz Is Grime / SWNS)

Earlier this week the Government said it was cracking down on fake news in relation to coronavirus.

Harmful narratives posted online by supposed ‘experts’ were spreading like wildfire, officials said.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said misinformation undermined medical advice to stay at home to protect lives.

He added: “We’re working with social media companies, and I’ll be pressing them this week for further action to stem the spread of falsehoods and rumours which could cost lives.”

The theory has been described as ‘baseless’ by phone network companies (Image: Birmz Is Grime / SWNS)

UK mobile network providers also warned against the spread of the ‘baseless’ conspiracy theory.

Several videos claiming to show 5G towers on fire were posted to a page on Facebook, which encouraged others to do the same.

The page was created yesterday and taken down by Facebook this morning.

Speaking about last night’s telecommunications mast fire in Birmingham, one local resident said: “A lot of people don’t want 5G in the area, I’m not surprised somebody torched it.

The NHS Nightingale Hospital has been set up in London to deal with the coronavirus outbreak (Image: PA)

“It was a large scale fire and was quite frightening seeing this huge tower up in flames.

“I know people are concerned over the health implications 5G might bring, there’s talk of it causing cancer and things like that.

“But there’s been no proof so I don’t know what people are playing at. If another goes up, it will probably just get burned straight back down again.”

Mobile UK, the trade body which represents network providers, said it is ‘concerning that certain groups are using the Covid-19 pandemic to spread false rumours and theories about the safety of 5G technologies’.

Videos of masts being engulfed in flames have been shared on Facebook (Image: Birmz Is Grime / SWNS)

“More worryingly some people are also abusing our key workers and making threats to damage infrastructure under the pretence of claims about 5G,” a statement said.

“This is not acceptable and only impacts on our ability as an industry to maintain the resilience and operational capacity of the networks to support mass home working and critical connectivity to the emergency services, vulnerable consumers and hospitals.”

It continued: “The theories that are being spread about 5G on social media are baseless and are not grounded in accepted scientific theory.

“Research into the safety of radio signals including 5G, which has been conducted for more than 50 years, has led to the establishment of human exposure standards including safety factors that protect against all established health risks.”

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Coronavirus outbreak

Facebook said the banned page was deleted for breaching its policies because it has the potential to cause real world harm.

However, one user claimed they reported the page early on to moderators for promoting violence, only to receive a response saying it was not deemed to be in violation of Facebook’s community standards.

Elsewhere, O2 is issuing engineers working outside on essential network projects with a sign to explain they are a key worker, after reports of telecoms staff being verbally abused by members of the public.

“Engineers are out doing key work to keep everyone connected, making repairs and keeping the network running, so they’ll show a sign to explain that,” a spokesman said.

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