The British government on Wednesday dismissed a TV presenter’s claim that there could be a link between 5G technology and coronavirus as “complete nonsense”.
The 5G conspiracy theory, spread widely on social media, has already led to a new telecoms mast being set alight in Ireland at the weekend.
Experts have poured scorn on the claim, saying 5G is based on radio frequency and is not related to the viral outbreak.
But Eamonn Holmes, who presents ITV’s This Morning show, said they were dismissing the theory “when they don’t know it’s not true”.
UK government dismisses 5G, coronavirus claims as 'complete nonsense'
READ MORE: https://t.co/uaQRWHs4zu
— Youths Digest (@YouthsDigest) April 15, 2020
“What I don’t accept is mainstream media immediately slapping that down as not true when they don’t know it’s not true,” he said, leading to hundreds of complaints.
“It’s very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative.”
A government told journalists that Holmes’s claims were “complete nonsense” and “entirely bogus”, while experts also rubbished the comments.
“It’s fair to say Eamonn Holmes is to the advancement of science what I am to banal and unsatisfying morning television,” said Michael Head from the University of Southampton.
“There are no links between 5G technology and transmission of the novel coronavirus.”
Conspiracy theory linking 5G with coronavirus
A conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to the outbreak of the coronavirus is quickly gaining momentum, with celebrities including actor Woody Harrelson promoting the idea.
But the theory is also getting a boost from what some researchers say is a coordinated disinformation campaign.
Marc Owen Jones, a researcher at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar, who specializes in online disinformation networks, analyzed 22,000 recent interactions on Twitter mentioning “5G” and “corona,” and said he found a large number of accounts displaying what he termed “inauthentic activity.” He said the effort bears some hallmarks of a state-backed campaign.
The conspiracy theories about 5G didn't start with the coronavirus outbreak. Here's how 5G misinformation entered the mainstream:https://t.co/JdMX2glTKq
— Full Fact (@FullFact) April 10, 2020
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.
But apparently there is no link between the technology & coronavirus. The British government’s denial could cool down this theory and may vanish it once and for all.
AFP with additional input from GVS News Desk.