Mobile towers are being attacked in the UK due to 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories.


Corinne Reichert/CNET

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Almost 80 mobile towers have reportedly been burned down in the UK due to coronavirus conspiracy theories that blame the spread of COVID-19 on 5G. The arson attacks began in early April, with 77 towers now damaged, Business Insider reported Wednesday citing industry group Mobile UK.

“Daily attacks are very low now but have not stopped entirely,” a Mobile UK spokesman told Business Insider.

As of April 21, 40 employees of one UK carrier have also been attacked physically or verbally, according to BT CEO Philip Jansen. “We’ve even had one Openreach engineer stabbed and put in hospital,” Jansen said.

The conspiracy theory is wrong — radio waves cannot cause a virus. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have all committed to taking down misinformation posts saying otherwise. UK carriers have also asked people to stop burning mobile towers, and the UK’s national medical director called the 5G conspiracy theory “complete and utter rubbish.”

Mobile UK didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


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