YouTube to curb videos promoting 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories

07 Avril, 2020, 21:41 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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5G masts have been set on fire around Britain after theories about the link between the mobile technology and Covid-19 circulated online.

Just how many cellphone towers have been attacked in the U.K.is not clear, but The Guardian today reported attacks in Birmingham, Merseyside and Belfast.

Police in several different United Kingdom cities are investigating a spate of attacks on communications masts, which are believed to have been targeted because of the misguided belief that 5G radio waves are causing the Covid-19 pandemic.

These attacks include a burned 5G mast in Liverpool, as well as a burned telephone mast and a wrecked LTE tower in Birmingham (yes, that last one doesn't even fall under the 5G category).

Another reason to debunk the conspiracy theories is that "the new coronavirus is spreading in places without 5G networks".

"I'm absolutely outraged and disgusted that people would be taking action against the infrastructure we need to tackle this emergency", said NHS Director Stephen Powis in a press conference.

Trade body Mobile UK, which represents network providers, said the false rumours and theories were "concerning".

YouTube will reduce the number of videos on its platform that groundlessly link 5G technology to the spread of COVID-19.

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The link with the coronavirus first appears in a now-deleted interview carried out by a Belgian newspaper with a general physician making unproven assertions about the dangers of 5G and raising the possibility that the then-nascent disease could be linked to the technology. In a now deleted tweet, Amanda Holden, who has nearly two million followers, urged followers to sign a "no to 5G" petition.

Although the finger is being pointed at social media, those concerned about fake 5G conspiracy theories could start with Google.

The UK's major telecommunication companies - EE, O2, Three and Vodafone - released a statement over the weekend calling the theories "baseless" and "harmful for the people and businesses that rely on the continuity of our services".

"By destroying these masts people are actually putting lives at risk because they are masts used by the emergency services", the spokesperson told reporters.

The issue is so serious BT Openreach engineers have taken to posting public pleas on anti-5G Facebook groups, begging to be spared on-street abuse as they have nothing to do with mobile networks.

According to the GSMA, an independent global watchdog last month confirmed there is no risk of harm to people, including children, from exposure to radio frequencies from mobile networks, including 5G.

"Sambo also maintained that there is "no credible evidence" linking radiofrequency waves, including 5G and all previous generations of mobile systems, with cancer", adding that there are even "regulatory limits" on radiation from mobile systems and all equipment manufacturers and operators.

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