A video of a person dressed like a mobile phone network engineer and talking about a 5G mast installation kit having the words ‘COV19’ on the circuit board inside it is being shared on social media. He mentions that they have been installing 5G masts on towers while everyone has been in a lockdown and that they were explicitly told not to open those kits.
However, we found that the video was first made by Heydon Prowse, a British activist, journalist and satirist, as a way to ridicule conspiracy theorists who believe that 5G is causing coronavirus.
As per his explanatory video, he made the video as an attempt to show how easy it was to create and have people believe in conspiracy theories by making one of his own.
WHAT WE FOUND
Using InVID, Chrome’s video verification extension, we extracted keyframes from the video and performed reverse image searches on them.
We found a video titled ‘How To Start a Conspiracy Theory – Heydon Prowse’ uploaded by channel ‘Don’t Panic London’ on YouTube on 5 June 2020.
In the video, British activist and journalist Heydon Prowse and London-based creative agency Don’t Panic work together to create a conspiracy theory along the lines of the popular conspiracy theory that the 5G network causes coronavirus in order to show people how easy it is to spread false information.
It was also tweeted by Heydon Prowse five days after the explanatory video was first published.
Prowse’s full conspiracy video had a second half, where he shows a cooked pre-packaged meal and claims that the ‘battlefield technology specifically designed to target and cook enemy lasagnas’ managed to cook his meal completely and that ‘it is hot in the middle’. This part of the video was edited out in different online claims.
He then shows how he created the ‘5G kit’ containing the ‘COV19’ marking using an old TV set top box circuit board and stickers used by children.
The video emphasises that Prowse attempted to debunk the theory by trying to prove it right and show how ridiculous it was.
DOES 5G SPREAD CORONAVIRUS?
The Quint has previously debunked the widespread theory of 5G causing or spreading coronavirus multiple times.
The WHO has clearly stated under a ‘Myth Busters’ section on their website that the 5G network does not spread coronavirus, as there are countries without 5G network that also have coronavirus cases.
Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
Additionally, the Department of Telecommunications, under the Ministry of Communications, published a press release on 10 May 2021, titled ‘No Link between 5G Technology and Spread of COVID-19’.
Clearly, there are no 5G kits marked ‘COV19’ being used on 5G towers. The video was created for the purpose of showing the hilarity of the conspiracy theory linking the technology to the spread of COVID-19 across the world.