Can Celebrities Spreading The 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory Kindly Shut The Fuck Up?

Celebs really need to stop peddling the conspiracy theory that 5G networks somehow caused the coronavirus pandemic, because their posts pose a danger to public health.

The claims – which are complete bullshit – have been spread on social media by American Zombieland actor Woody Harrelson (2 million followers on Insta), British rapper M.I.A. (650,000 followers on Twitter), Aussie boxer Anthony Mundine (88,000 followers on Facebook), and many others.

While conspiracy theories claiming 5G networks are somehow bad for human health have been around for ages, the COVID-19 connection has only recently started to be pushed by celebs during the global pandemic.

Research from Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that while posts from celebrities and other prominent public figures made up just 20% of coronavirus misinformation posts on social media, they accounted for almost 70% of actual engagement.

“Public figures continue to play an outsised role in spreading misinformation about COVID-19,” the report said.

“While the majority of misinformation on social media came from ordinary people, most of these posts seemed to generate far less engagement.”

The consequences of these posts are serious. While many posters may mean well, their false claims distract from serious developments and create mistrust in communities.

Some, like M.I.A., conflate genuine political and economic concerns with pseudoscience and hysteria. It’s a dangerous mix.

In the UK, 5G towers have been burned down at a time when people are more online than ever, while essential 5G maintenance workers have also faced violence due to the conspiracy theories.

People who fall for these theories are also far less likely to follow social distancing recommendations and wash their hands, a study by King’s College London found.

At a time when we all need to follow public hygiene recommendations, celebrities have a responsibility to not use their enormous platforms to sow mistrust and misinformation.

Take it from the experts, such as Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy.

“I’d like to reassure the community that 5G technology is safe,” he said in a statement earlier this year.

“There is no evidence telecommunication technologies, such as 5G, cause adverse health impacts.”

It’s important that we’re all on the same page when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. So please, celebs, now is not the time for misinformation.

Kindly shut the fuck up.