Recently, I noticed that there was mad news on the Internet, which pointed out that 5G is the culprit of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many foreign people believed such conspiracy, and even more, people have destroyed the mobile phone base station. These rumors widely circulated on the Internet, as the instant messaging platform refused to check the fake news, which made such news more and more popular.
Hence, WhatsApp has implemented a new message forwarding arrangement recently. Messages that have been forwarded five or more times can only be sent to another user. The purpose is to slow down the transmission of error messages.
Although 5G dissemination of the new crown virus is a fake news and conspiracy theory, many people in the United Kingdom believe it because the epidemic is heating up. In recent days, there have been at least three local arson incidents that destroyed mobile phone launch stations, even if they were damaged — not intended to provide 5G networks.
According to local media tracing, the news linking 5G to the virus appeared on Facebook in late January, when the virus began to record confirmed cases in the United States.
The impact of 5G on health has been spreading when the United Kingdom began to deploy 5G last year. The conspiracy claims that the wave of wireless signals can affect health. However, the UK’s Communications Authority and mobile network providers did not immediately come out to refute these false statements scientifically. The result was under the emptiness of the people, plus the regional Facebook and WhatsApp groups that appeared in the UK after the full closure Has become a hotbed for forwarding these erroneous statements.
Many people even spread the short film of the arson launch station widely, and some online opinion leaders also support these statements. At the height of the British epidemic and the admission of Prime Minister Johnson, the British government finally severely condemned these 5G and virus discussions as dangerous conspiracy theories. Still, some experts also pointed out that those who believe these conspiracy theories will not easily change their minds. So preventing the spread of information became the only way.
WhatsApp uses encryption to spread messages as a selling point, making it difficult for the platform owner to block the spread of false messages by tracking messages between users. Facebook, as the owner of WhatsApp, unable to use its technology to prevent the spread of error messages on WhatsApp.
All major technology companies have taken the initiative to play a role in this new coronavirus epidemic and publish accurate information about the outbreak to users. Take Facebook, which had helped to spread fake news during the US presidential election in 2016, as an example. Facebook prohibits the advertisement of medical masks or sales-related content on the platform to avoid sellers making money from the epidemic.
Users searching for keywords such as new pneumonia and coronavirus will be directed to the website of the Center for Health Protection of the Department of Health for the latest information. Facebook also cooperates with independent third-party agencies to fact-checking news.
The claim that wireless waves are harmful to human health has existed in the past decades. Naturally, most people have heard that strong radio waves give people a higher chance of developing cancer. However, various official agencies have emphasized that this statement is unfounded; many mobile phone operators have removed their base stations near residential flats in Hong Kong, citing health concern.
Unfortunately, many users have complained about poor network reception, but they refuse to install a base station. As a result, it is difficult for telecommunications companies to meet the demand for customers. And this time, 5G has been blamed as the culprit of the coronavirus. It also reflects people’s ignorance of new technology. It also shows that technology companies are not doing enough to popularize technology knowledge, regardless of the industry and the government.