5G, COVID conspiracy theory claims 77 UK phone masts
Mobile UK commented that the daily rate of 5G COVID conspiracy theory attacks appears to be slowing down
Arson attacks on cell site and verbal abuse of tower workers resulting from a conspiracy theory that claims that 5G internet is behind the coronavirus outbreak is sparking outrage from telecommunications executives like Nick Jeffery, the CEO of Vodafone UK and BT’s CEO Philip Jansen, and has forced social media platforms to remove pages promoting the conspiracy theory. However, these things have not stopped the U.K. attacks, which have now mounted to more than 70.
Distrust of 5G and cellular connectivity in general has been around for some time, but this specific conspiracy theory began to gain traction in the U.K. in late March and early April, just as the number of COVID-19 infections in the region began to escalate.
Further, the false theories started to get picked up by celebrities and prominent individuals, increasing their visibility. Woody Harrelson, for example, shared a report exploring the connection between COVID-19 and 5G to his 2 million Instagram followers. And more recently, the media regulator Ofcom launched a probe into comments made by Northern Ireland TV broadcaster Eamonn Holmes, which many felt suggested that people should not be too quick to dismiss a potential link between COVID-19 and 5G.
Mobile UK, which represents Britain’s four mobile operators, reported that, as of yesterday, there have been a total of 77 phone mask attacks across the country — the majority of which were not actually 5G-enabled, and many of which provided coverage directly to hospitals.
Mobile UK did add that the rate of the attacks appears to be slowing down.
“Daily attacks are very low now but have not stopped entirely,” a spokesman said.
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