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The unfounded claims about 5G spreading across social media appear to be contributing to real-world attacks on cellphone towers in the United Kingdom.
Four of Vodaphone’s towers were attacked in this past weekend, according to the multinational telecommunications company. This comes after several cell towers across Britain recently were set on fire. They weren’t necessarily delivering 5G.
A tower owned by BT, Britain’s biggest telecom company, that was damaged in an arson attack provided 2G, 3G and 4G services but did not have 5G capability, the company told Reuters.
Several U.K. telecommunications companies joined Vodafone in condemning the latest attack.
“Please help us make this stop,’’ the companies said in its joint statement, asking for public assistance.
Stopping the attacks is critical to keeping communities connected, said Vodafone and the three other companies that serve British cellphone customers. The companies said the baseless claims about the link between 5G and coronavirus have led to abuse of company engineers and, in some cases, prevented essential network maintenance from taking place.
A video has surfaced on social media of workers being harassed by a woman claiming the technology “kills people.”
Vodafone, the world’s second-largest mobile operator, has said the attacks were now a matter of national security, harming “the very networks that are providing essential connectivity to the emergency services…during this difficult lockdown period,” UK head Nick Jeffery said.
elebrities are adding fuel to the unfounded theory that 5G wireless technology has any connection to the coronavirus pandemic, itself spreading like a virus across social media.