Tag: criticism of conspiracies

Business Insider: 5G conspiracy theorists are hiding razors and needles as booby traps for telecoms engineers

5G conspiracy theorists in the UK are verbally harassing telecoms engineers, assaulting them, and even leaving traps for them.

The Verge reports telecoms engineers in the UK have discovered razor blades and needles hidden behind posters on telephone poles to catch them when maintaining the country’s broadband network.

This isn’t the only act of violence associated with 5G conspiracy theories. As theories blaming the spread of the coronavirus on 5G began to gain traction online earlier this year, believers in the theories began setting fire to cell phone towers.

While the arson attacks are not unique to the UK, the country seems to have been particularly badly hit by them. Industry group Mobile UK told The Verge that since March 30 there have been 90 attacks on mobile infrastructure and 200 counts of abuse against telecoms engineers.

Most of the time the abuse is verbal, but some confrontations have escalated to physical violence. In one instance an engineer was stabbed and hospitalized, and BT CEO Philip Jansen said in April that some engineers had had cars driven at them.

The majority of these engineers and sites have nothing to do with 5G, but they have nonetheless become a focal point for the attacks.

Nature: The epic battle against coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories

In the first few months of 2020, wild conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and the new coronavirus began sprouting online. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist who has funded efforts to control the virus with treatments, vaccines and technology, had himself created the virus, argued one theory. He had patented it, said another. He’d use vaccines to control people, declared a third. The false claims quietly proliferated among groups predisposed to spread the message — people opposed to vaccines, globalization or the privacy infringements enabled by technology. Then one went mainstream.