A rumor is circulating on social media platforms stating that 5G networks are capable of producing coronavirus infections in human cells. The claim originated from a discredited research paper, which was later retracted by a scientific journal.
5G causes coronavirus infection?
Several posts on social media are saying that 5G technology is spreading the coronavirus pandemic by infecting people exposed to its networks. However, experts say the paper was not based on scientific evidence and was later removed after its publisher found a process that manipulated peer review to its advantage.
According to Boom Live, the posts and blogs state that the National Institute of Health (NIH) acknowledges the fact that 5G technology is actually capable of producing coronavirus infection in healthy human cells.
The claims base their state on research that was conducted on July 16 by Biolife, a scientific publisher. Later, the study was added to the National Library of Medicine's website catalog, Pubmed.gov, which is a part of the NIH.
5G technology is the most recent generation of ultra-fast mobile wireless network technology aiming to power self-driving cars, smart-home devices, and other technological gadgets and services.
A screenshot of the study's visuals was used in shared posts on Facebook and Instagram starting in August. The posts quickly spread through social media platforms, and several other blog posts also began circulating the research.
Later, some posts said that the study was censored after the scientific journal withdrew the paper from both websites of PubMed and Biolife.
Other posts stated that the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the deaths of thousands of people around the world, is simply a cover-up to hide the adverse health effects of 5G technology on the human body, as reported by USA Today.
Spreading like wildfire
The claim has also been shared by prominent Hollywood personalities and continued to spread false news and even an edited video. Several arsonists have moved to burn down several 5G cell towers in multiple countries in the belief it would reduce the coronavirus spread.
However, there is no evidence to support the claim that 5G technology causes coronavirus in human cells, and experts have agreed that wireless technology has no adverse medical consequences.
According to BBC, scientists have previously debunked claims that wireless technologies are spreading illnesses and viruses and that the process is biologically impossible.
However, the consensus has not stopped individuals who believe otherwise and those who have begun to hold protests calling out governments to ban the technology's use, even in countries where the technology has not been used or created yet.
In Bolivia, the spread of the false news had caused people in two towns to attack masts. The chaos comes with the fact that the technology is not yet available in the country.
Bolivia Verifica journalist Adriana Olivera said that after people saw the rumors, without researching their authenticity, and combined with the stress that lockdowns have caused, began pulling down antennas in the towns of K'ara K'ara and Yapacani.