If you’ve spent any amount of time online, you will no doubt have come across at least one conspiracy theory, or one outlandish claim that has – somehow – managed to garner support from thousands, if not millions, of people.
Whether it’s the idea that the moon landings were faked, that aliens currently reside in a secret facility in the New Mexico desert, or that the world is flat, some people find themselves drawn to peculiar bouts of speculation. These conspiracy theorists are, on the whole, willing to throw away the accepted narrative – generally without having any evidence to support their abstract perspective – in favour of something far more unlikely, confusing and ludicrous.
5G network: the radiation rumours
In recent weeks, 5G technology has found itself the latest target of these internet warriors, with uneducated and scientifically unsound theories spreading across social media like wildfire. These claims suggest that 5G masts are enabling COVID-19 to spread, with some suggesting that radiation emanating from these towers can damage people’s immune systems to such an extent that they become more susceptible to viruses and various other diseases.
This particular theory has gained so much prominence that across the UK three 5G masts – one in Merseyside, one in Birmingham, one in Belfast – are now known to have been set alight by frightened people who have been fooled into believing nonsense.
Usually, such theories remain online, with their content so absurd that there really is no need for experts to waste their time addressing them. However, given that we are in such an unusual period of history, and due to the fact that so many people are concerned about their wellbeing and welfare, many senior officials have stood up to both condemn those people propagating the rumours, and educate those who have been convinced of 5G’s supposedly damaging effects.
5G communications rumours branded ‘fake news’
Stephen Powis, NHS Director for the UK, was one of the first to place his head above the parapet, telling the public in no uncertain terms that ‘the 5G story is complete and utter rubbish’, before slamming it as ‘the worst kind of fake news’.
Similarly, Conservative MP Michael Gove has used his voice to call such rumours ‘dangerous nonsense’, while MP Oliver Dowden has announced that he is going to hold talks with the world’s major social media firms to encourage them to act against these unfounded and potentially dangerous rumours.
There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that 5G can cause any radiation damage – or any damage at all, for that matter – to humans. This a time for clear and rational thinking: risible rumours and groundless speculation cannot be allowed to fester during an era when unity and clarity of thought are key.