Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson also said he has received threats related to the “bizarre” theory, which has gained traction on social media.
Emergency services were called on Friday to report that a 5G mast was on fire in Liverpool shortly before 11 p.m. Police have confirmed that they are investigating the fire at Spencer’s Lane, Aintree, near the M57 motorway.
The firefighters managed to quickly control the fire and were photographed parked outside the field shortly after it was extinguished.
Media regulator Ofcom said Thursday it is monitoring broadcasters who spread the discredited conspiracy theory, although coverage has spread more widely on social media, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor.
Just hours before the Liverpool incident, Anderson dismissed theories as “bizarre.” He said he was amazed at the amount of traction the plot was getting on social media and that all the scientific and government advice was showing that the technology was doing no harm to people.
Speaking to the Guardian, the mayor revealed that he had received theory-related threats and reported them to Merseyside police.
“The suggestion that Covid-19 is somehow related to 5G is clearly beyond the realm of credibility – utterly bizarre,” he said.
“In Liverpool, these masts are upgraded and, ironically, it is the people who use this technology who believe in these theories. I was slightly threatened yesterday by someone telling me to remove them.
“The reality is that there is huge pressure on the network right now with so many people at home and that is why the engineers are upgrading it. The idea that I have made some sort of evil plot with the government is ridiculous. “
Social media posts from celebrities, such as singer Anne-Marie, helped spread the word, while Amanda Holden, judge of Britain’s Got Talent, shared a link to an online petition promoting the false rumor that coronavirus symptoms are caused by residing near a 5G mast. The petition was withdrawn following a Guardian investigation.
The government is increasingly concerned about the impact of the spread of these false theories.
A spokesperson for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, which is responsible for telecommunications policy, warned people not to damage key infrastructure in a national emergency.
“These are baseless theories, there is absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and the coronavirus. Threats or violence against a key employee or damage to mobile phone masts will not be tolerated. “
Belfast police on Thursday asked for information after a cell phone mast was damaged in an arson attack, with online footage suggesting that the mobile was opposed to 5G networks.
The video clip shows an incident on the road to Antrim in north Belfast on Thursday evening, in which flames can be seen at the base of a mobile phone mast.
According to an article in the Irish News, voices can be heard saying “Fuck the 5G” and “Viva la revolution” while the fire is burning.
Facebook deleted an anti-5G group in which members were encouraged to provide images of them destroying mobile phone equipment. Video footage of a 70-foot (20 m) telephone mast on fire in Birmingham this week has also been widely circulated alongside claims that it has been targeted by anti-5G protesters.
The problem has become so serious that engineers working for Openreach, which provides home broadband, have published pleas on anti-5G Facebook groups, asking to be spared abuse on the street because they are not involved. in the maintenance of mobile networks.
The Mobile UK industry lobby group said the incidents affected efforts to maintain the networks that supported homework and provided essential connectivity to emergency services, vulnerable consumers and hospitals. Telecommunications engineers are considered to be key workers according to government directives.
International radiation experts have repeatedly made it clear that the new high-speed phone system poses no risk to humans, while stressing that the coronavirus has spread widely in many countries without 5G coverage, such as ‘Iran.