UK carriers actually have to politely ask idiots not to burn down 5G masts

5G conspiracy theorists have been around as long as the technology, but it’s only recently that they’ve decided to up their game by setting fire to 5G masts. Their, uh, reason? They believe 5G causes the coronavirus

I promise I’m not making this up: there really are people that stupid.

You might have thought a worldwide pandemic would be enough drama without the need to invent wild and whacky theories just for the attention. Anti-vaxxers, for example, seem pretty darned quiet now that they’ve been given a practical demonstration of life without just one vaccine.

But nope: the people who think 5G does everything from control minds to zap birds from the sky have now decided it also causes the coronavirus.

The BBC reports that at least three masts have been set on fire.

There have been fires at masts in Birmingham, Liverpool and Melling in Merseyside.

A video, allegedly of the blaze in Aigburth, was shared on YouTube and Facebook, claiming a link between the mobile technology and Covid-19 […]

Merseyside Police said an investigation is under way after the telecommunications box in Aigburth caught fire on Friday. A video of what appears to be the incident, which happened shortly after 22:00 BST, was shared on YouTube […]

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said it is also investigating a blaze it extinguished at a 5G mast in the village of Melling, north of Liverpool, on Friday night.

West Midlands Fire Service said the fire in Birmingham involved a 70ft tower on a telecommunications site.

Not all have been officially confirmed as arson, but there have been calls by conspiracy nuts to do just this, so it seems the most likely bet.

The Verge notes that the four main UK carriers have all issued a joint statement, politely asking people not to do this, and calling for help in reporting such incidents to the police, as well as challenging disinformation posted on social media.

Our networks provide essential connectivity to our emergency services and the NHS; they enable families to check in on their isolated or vulnerable loved ones; parents to teach their children from home; and millions to be informed and entertained as they stay home […]

Sadly, we have experienced cases of vandals setting fire to mobile masts, disrupting critical infrastructure and spreading false information suggesting a connection between 5G and the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no scientific evidence of any link between 5G and coronavirus. […]

Please help us to make this stop. If you witness abuse of our key workers please report it. If you see misinformation, please call it out. Your help will make a real difference.

Thank you for your support as we work together to keep our nation connected.

YouTube is doing its best to help by removing videos promoting this nonsense.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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