“MISLEADING conspiracy theories around 5G on Facebook pose a risk of immediate physical harm”, Mark Zuckerberg has warned.
The billionaire Facebook chief says his team is working urgently to remove dangerous and deadly “fake news” posts about 5G.
It comes as dozens of 5G phone masts across the UK have been attacked by arsonists.
Facebook is just one of many social media sites where 5G concerns are spreading – including a popular theory that links the next-gen mobile internet to the spread of coronavirus.
According to Zuckerberg, hundreds of thousands of misleading posts have already been taken down.
“Things like saying that something is a proven cure for the virus when in fact it isn’t, we will take that down,” Zuckerberg told the BBC.
“Another example which I know has been very prevalent in the UK has been 5G misinformation, which has led to some physical damage of 5G infrastructure.
“So we believe that that is leading to imminent risk of physical harm. We take down that content.”
He added: “There have been hundreds of thousands of pieces of content like that.”
Zuckerberg’s comments echo those of UK phone networks, who have made similar warnings.
Just last month, EE told The Sun that 5G conspiracy theorists pose a “risk to human life” by burning down phone masts.
“Mindless attacks on key workers and deliberately removing mobile signal is a reckless, harmful and dangerous thing to do,” an EE spokesperson said, speaking to The Sun.
“And aside from the obvious risk to our colleagues could have serious consequences, from preventing a call reaching the ambulance service, to stopping families being able to talk to each other.
“These senseless crimes are creating unnecessary risk to human life, both to those that live in the areas being targeted and to the emergency services working to contain the situation.”
Last month, a Vodafone mast serving Birmingham’s Nightingale hospital was damaged in an attack.
Dozens of masts up and down the UK have been damaged – including at least 23 EE sites.
A spokesperson from the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “We have received several reports of criminal damage to phone masts and abuse of telecoms engineers.
“Those responsible for criminal acts will face the full force of the law.
“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.”
EE told The Sun that it’s increasing security at high-risk sites.
The network’s guard patrols are being supplied with body cameras, and have been instructed to alert local police regarding any suspicious activity.
“Abuse towards our staff is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” EE added.
“We’re introducing measures to try to ensure our engineers can continue their critical work, at a time when people need more than ever to stay connected to each other.