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UK networks hit back at fake claims 5G causes coronavirus

UK mobile networks have hit back at the absurd claims that 5G causes coronavirus.

Fake news conspiracy theories have been silenced by the likes of Vodafone, BT and EE, and O2.

Whilst a spokeswoman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told the BBC more needs to be done by social media companies to stop the spread of false information about COVID-19.

She told the BBC: "We must also see social media companies acting responsibly and taking much swifter action to stop nonsense spreading on their platforms which encourages such acts."

The news was spread by groups on Facebook and WhatsApp.

As a result, some masts were damaged by vandals over the weekend.

Vodafone's chief executive, Nick Jeffery said: "It beggars belief that some people should want to harm the very networks that are providing essential connectivity to the emergency services, the NHS, and rest of the country during this difficult lockdown period."

BT and EE tweeted: "Phone masts keep us all connected at this extraordinary time. And yet we're seeing reports of masts vandalized because of a conspiracy theory linking 5G tech to the spread of Covid-19.

"This claim is baseless. We must look after the infrastructure and people keeping us in touch."

And all of the UK's networks published a joint message, in which they revealed several of their engineers and key workers have also received abuse.

They wrote: "Our networks provide essential connectivity to our emergency services and the NHS; they enable families to check in on their isolated or vulnerable loved ones; parents to teach their children from home, and millions to be informed and entertained as they stay home.

"We are 100% focused on making sure the UK's mobile and broadband networks are resilient, ensuring you, your families and businesses, can keep connected when you need it most.

"Sadly, we have experienced cases of vandals setting fire to mobile masts, disrupting critical infrastructure and spreading false information suggesting a connection between 5G and the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no scientific evidence of any link between 5G and coronavirus. Fact.

"Stopping this is critical to keeping your communities connected.

"Not only are these claims baseless, they are harmful for the people and businesses that rely on the continuity of our services.

"They have also led to the abuse of our engineers and, in some cases, prevented essential network maintenance taking place.

"Please help us to make this stop.

"If you witness abuse of our key workers please report it. If you see misinformation, please call it out. Your help will make a real difference. Thank you for your support as we work together to keep our nation connected."

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