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False claim: Video shows a 5G mast burning in Nigeria

A video shared on social media allegedly shows a 5G mast burning in Nigeria. The video portrays a cell phone tower in flames and features a voiceover threatening to destroy all 5G infrastructure in the African country. The speaker alleges that the technology is a source of radioactive poisoning and is “used as a military weapon to disperse crowds”. Examples of Facebook posts with the video can be seen here , here and here .

Some of the posts read: “5G Mast Set on fire By Freedom Fighters in Nigeria” and “Nigerians burn 5G towers.”

This is false. This video actually shows a cell phone tower fire in India on January 27, 2018 which was reported by Indian news outlets at the time ( here and here and here ).

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim, said in a statement on April 4: “No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country.” He said experts were still reviewing the outcome of a 3-month study trial to review the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria ( here ).

5G is the fifth generation of cellular wireless technology, is designed to speed up data and give users the ability to connect more smart devices at once ( www.pcmag.com/news/what-is-5g ).

Health bodies like the World Health Organization and Public Health England have stated that no adverse health effects have so far been linked to 5G frequency exposure.( here and here ).

Reuters has previously debunked many online claims regarding alleged harm from 5G, including the notion that it cased the global coronavirus outbreak.( here , here , here , here ).

Reuters recently reported about damage to telecom towers in the Netherlands amidst the coronavirus outbreak ( here ).

On April 11, 2020, the New York Times reported there had been more than 30 recent acts of arson and vandalism against wireless towers and other telecoms equipment in Britain, and around 80 incidents in which telecom technicians had been harassed while working ( here ).

VERDICT

False: Nigeria has not deployed 5G; this video shows a 2018 cellphone tower fire in India

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .​

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