Debunking 5G Myths and Conspiracies
- Conspiracy #1: It can be used as a weapon.
- Conspiracy #2: It can cause coronavirus.
- Where do conspiracy theories originate from?
5G internet has not even completely rolled out yet but already there are plenty of conspiracy theories surrounding the technology. Granted, it’s easy to entertain far-fetched ideas when you do not have a lot of information about it at your disposal. However, while some of these theories sound downright preposterous, they could still rub off on other people in the wrong way.
You might not realise it but it could be detrimental to the development of the technology as well as the well-being of people in the industry, interested users, and even the bystanders. To help educate you with what’s real and what’s fake information about 5G, we debunked two of the most prevailing myths going around the internet.
Conspiracy theories are no longer new. They’ve been around for centuries, with one of the earliest articles written about it dating as far back as 1909. Over time, these theories evolve according to ongoing trends and societal norms. But it doesn’t change the fact that most of these ideas are political in nature.
Conspiracy #1: It can be used as a weapon.
The first and possibly the most popular conspiracy theory against 5G technology is that it can be used as a weapon. More specifically, the idea that it can be used for mind control.
The theory is likely based on the fact that 5G runs on mmWaves or millimeter waves, a band of spectrum that ranges from 30GHz to 300GHz. The spectrum sits right between the microwave and infrared waves and is often used for high-speed wireless communications.
In the United States, mmWaves are employed by the Department of Defense (DOD) as a non-lethal weapon. Its most practical use is to disperse crowds using a 95Ghz frequency.
It is possible that this is where the theory that 5G technology can be used as a weapon came from. However, what some people conveniently forget is that it is a “non-lethal” weapon. In fact, the 95GHz frequency is not used to cause injury and it is much higher than the frequency used by 5G.
It’s interesting to note that among the service providers currently offering 5G speeds to consumers, Verizon has the fastest speeds at 28 and 39GHz frequencies. On the other hand, T-Mobile, which is the biggest 5G network, only uses a 600MHz frequency.
Moreover, there is a limit to the amount of energy that networks can use, which is only up to 1 watt, according to the Federal Communications Commission. It’s unclear how much energy is used by the DOD its (again) non-lethal weapon, but some reports claim that it’s around 100 kilowatts — 100,000 times more than the amount allowed for 5G.
Conspiracy #2: It can cause coronavirus.
By now, it’s no secret that the novel coronavirus that has (and still is) sweeping over the world originated from Wuhan, the capital city of China’s Hubei Province. However, prior to this unfortunate global recognition, Wuhan has already established itself as a high-tech hub home to the country’s Optics Valley.
To those who don’t know, Optics Valley houses over 90,000 firms that are responsible for the industry’s one trillion yuan (143 billion USD) earnings in 2018 and accounted for more than 20 percent of the city’s GDP that year.
Before the whole COVID situation happened in 2019, the 5G network was starting to get big in Wuhan, with towers beginning to get built months before the first recorded case of the coronavirus. But for conspiracy theorists, this is far too complex to be just a simple coincidence.
In a report released by Vox News, a French conspiracy theorist claimed that there was a connection between the rise of 5G technology in Wuhan and the spread of the coronavirus in the city and the rest of the world. This was then picked up by a news outlet in Belgium, got translated into English, and went viral around the world in early 2020, perhaps as fast as the coronavirus did.
The truth is that there is no substantial evidence that can connect 5G to the coronavirus. While there are cities like Wuhan and New York where 5G towers were built and also happen to record a high number of coronavirus cases, there are several other cities in various parts of the globe that do not have these towers but also recorded nearly as many cases.
Where do conspiracy theories originate from?
Pinpointing a specific location where conspiracy theories come from may be difficult. Aside from the French conspiracy theorist that surmised the false 5G-coronavirus connection, there are plenty of other places where these people can be found.
In the United States alone, The New York Times puts the numbers at around 500,000 people who are actively part of conspiracy theory groups on social media. Among them are big-name celebrities such as John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, and Keri Hilson, all of whom have previously made public comments about the “dangers” of 5G technology.
What happens when these conspiracy theories go unaddressed?
As we’ve said earlier, conspiracy theories are no longer new. 5G is not the first and definitely not the only victim of these unfounded claims. So, why is it important to debunk the myths surrounding it?
If it only boiled down to beliefs and personal opinions, it really wouldn’t matter as much whether millions of people purport various claims about the potentially harmful effects of 5G. But the problem is that these allegations are now starting to put people in danger.
There were reports of 5G towers being burned down as well as telecommunication engineers being attacked when they were only doing their jobs. There are also incidents where non-5G cell towers were destroyed. While the attacks have only been reported in Europe so far, letting it go unaddressed could spell trouble for entities involved in the industry in other parts of the globe.