5G – The misinformation which is still circulating

UNICEF’s young reporters remind us of experts’ assertions that the fifth generation of mobile internet does not kill the living world, nor is it spreading the virus

Lana Jovanović and Lara Bulatović
Fact checking visual
UNICEF Montenegro
07 July 2020

Although the expert public has repeatedly warned that the fifth generation of mobile internet is neither killing the living world nor spreading the virus, misinformation about 5G continues to be published in the media and spread on social networks. UNICEF's young reporters recently found an article on the alo.rs web-portal about a young Serbian scientist who claimed that, with the introduction of the 5G network, we would become diabetics, that birds would start dying, and that the whole world would be changed. Using Crowdtangle, we noticed that half a million users were able to see this article on the social network Facebook, which means that articles that are not based on scientific facts tend to be shared very quickly.

Fact checking visual
UNICEF Montenegro

In this article, a young scientist from Serbia states that the 5G network can have negative consequences on our health and that during his research he did not find a single positive feature of this network, a technology that is actually useful and harmless. He also believes that the reason for the death of birds in the Netherlands is connected to the 5G network.

It is true that several hundred birds and sparrows died in The Hague between 19 October and 3 November 2018. However, detailed research conducted by the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre, Erasmus University, and Ghent University found that the death of birds was not caused by the 5G network, but most likely by poisoning.

After incorrect allegations about the impact of 5G on birds, a new conspiracy theory emerged – that the 5G network is spreading coronavirus.

However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), viruses cannot be transmitted by means of radio waves transmitted by telecommunication devices. This has been confirmed by the fact that coronavirus is present even in countries that do not have a 5G network. The World Health Organization reminds that the coronavirus is transmitted by means of respiratory drops, when a person speaks, coughs, or sneezes. A person can contract the virus if they come into contact with an infected surface, and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Various websites and tabloids have written about this topic, but the main questions are: is the 5G network is safe?; can it affect our health?; and will it change the world?

The 5G network (the fifth generation of mobile internet) was launched in certain parts of the world as early as 2018. This network allows a much higher internet speed, which means faster loading and sending of data. It enables more people to use the same network, without lags, delays, or related problems.

Experts claim that 5G is a safe network and that it is not to blame for the deaths of birds and the spread of coronavirus.

This network is not harmful to our health. However, the excessive use of technology and reading of information that is not accurate are detrimental to our health! So let's choose what we watch, listen to, and read!

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, UNICEF's young reporters have been checking the accuracy of information published on social networks and in the media. In verifying the accuracy of information, they have followed the model of the Public Disclosure Platform "Raskrinkavanje" and partly used its publicly available methodology.