WIA Knocks Down 5G Conspiracy Theories


UPDATE 5G does not cause COVID-19, according to the Wireless Infrastructure Association. WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein said: “There is zero scientific evidence behind the conspiracy theory that there is any link whatsoever between COVID-19 and 5G.”

Adelstein called it, “the height of irresponsibility to even suggest that such a misleading link exists. The public needs to rely on scientific evidence rather than on unfounded fear mongering.”

Inside Towers reported last week the conspiracy theory is gaining momentum from what some researchers say is a coordinated disinformation campaign. Conspiracy-motivated anarchists in the U.K. have recently set a series of towers on fire.  

Marc Owen Jones is a researcher at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar who specializes in online disinformation networks, reports Bloomberg. He analyzed 22,000 recent interactions on Twitter mentioning “5G” and “corona,” and found a large number of accounts displaying what he characterized as “inauthentic activity.”

He said the effort bears some hallmarks of a state-backed campaign. “There are very strong indications that some of these accounts are a disinformation operation,” Jones said.

Blackbird.AI, a New York-based company that monitors online disinformation campaigns, said it had in recent weeks identified a surge in the number of social media posts promoting the 5G conspiracy theory. In the previous 24 hours, there had been more than 50,000 posts about the topic on Twitter and Reddit, Naushad UzZaman, the company’s chief technology officer and co-founder, said on Wednesday. He too, said that indicates it could be a coordinated campaign with bots involved.

Blackbird.AI hasn’t determined who is behind the effort, nor have the researchers at the Global Disinformation Index, a non-profit that tracks disinformation online.

Adelstein says not only is 5G not linked to the virus, global health authorities have found no health risks that wireless facilities meeting regulatory guidelines pose to the public. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite. There are enormous well-documented public health and safety benefits of wireless, which saves lives and protects people in emergencies every day through calls to 911, telemedicine, and so many other ways,” he said in a statement.

“Consider how many people today are calling their doctors through voice and video calls to determine if they need to go to the hospital,” he added. “During this global health emergency, it is more important than ever to build next-generation wireless networks so that more remote healthcare can be available as soon as possible for those in need.”


Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.