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How the “5G Networks-COVID 19” Conspiracy Theory Began and Still Doesn’t Die Down?

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How the “5G Networks-COVID 19” Conspiracy Theory Began and Still Doesn’t Die Down?


Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, disinformation has propagated on the internet at large scales. People shared false claims to social media like eating garlic or covering your body in chlorine can be effective against the virus, both of which were rejected by the World Health Organization.

The COVID-19 crisis has also sparked a flow of more sneaking conspiracy theories, such as the wrong claim that 5G networks worsen and spread the COVID-19, which has resulted in dozens of cases of fire to cell towers from arsonists across various parts of the world. Disinformation and conspiracy theories spread online in the same fashion as the virus itself. “5G networks-COVID 19” theory offers some interesting false claims about the relationship between 5G mobile networks and spread of COVID-19.

What is the 5G Network-COVID 19 Theory?

Basically, it is a two-portion theory: One part claims the 5G network is responsible for the COVID-19 spread. The other blames that there never was a COVID-19. It is only a camouflage for the installation of 5G network towers.

Supporters of the first part think that powerful radiation emitting from 5G towers is the main cause of spreading novel coronavirus. They also believe that 5G networks suppress our immunity, thus accelerating the spread of the virus.

Supporters of the second part believe that 5G networks around the globe are causing the pandemic. They point out the epicenters of the virus with 5G deployments such as Italy, China, and Korea. The theory even claims about WHO restricting autopsies of those who died due to COVID-19 and of Russia to have performed so and found out the “reality.”

How 5G Network-COVID 19 Theory Began?

The onslaught of disinformation about COVID-19 spread on news channels, social media, and in general conversation is creating confusion among the general public. People still believe in the 5G network-COVID 19 theory, but how this theory began?

The first link between 5G and the COVID-19 pandemic was on Les moutons enragés, a French conspiracy website, which falsely claimed in its 20th January 2020 post that the millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G technology was the culprit of novel coronavirus. The Les moutons enragés also pointed reports about the installation of 5G towers in Wuhan before the outbreak.

Two days after the French blog post, a Belgian local doctor Kris Van Kerckhoven told the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that 5G was life-threatening and the COVID-19 pandemic could be linked to 5G towers installed near Wuhan in 2019. The newspaper quickly corrected the misinformation and the offending article was deleted from its website within hours, but it was too late and the theory had already gone viral to several English-language Anti-5G Facebook groups.

The confirmed origin of a piece of disinformation, many professionals agreed, doesn’t matter too much, because it grows of its own once disclosed into the world.

Why “5G Network-COVID 19 Conspiracy Theory” Still Doesn’t Die Down?

US National Institutes of Health recently published comprehensive research conducted on the spread of such conspiracy theories. Through tracking the origin and progression of such rumors, the study gained an insight into the influence of online misinformation propagation and the possible strategies to prohibit such spread.

The study also highlights a critical challenge in prohibiting the spread of such theories. It demonstrates that the fact-checked details that debunk these conspiracy theories also flow online, but these are less compatible than the real conspiracy theorists’ content. In the case of the 5G network-COVID 19 conspiracy theory, removing these false claims from online platforms and banning accounts containing such content has quite the opposite effect of what is aimed. It consolidates the claims of conspiracy theorists and provides proof that such activities are actually the process of a cover-up the deeper secrets.