Covid-19 link to 5G technology fueled by coordinated effort


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  • Thursday, 09 Apr 2020

A telecommunications mast damaged by fire is seen in Sparkhill. Mobile phone masts have in recent days been vandalised amid conspiracy theories linking the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and 5G masts in Birmingham, Britain. — Reuters

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 specialises in online disinformation networks, analysed 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.

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