A video circulating on social media allegedly shows people in China destroying “5G poles” during the coronavirus outbreak, claiming that it is 5G technology that is making people sick. The video has been shared on Facebook and Instagram. ( here , here )
One post reads: “The Chinese are destroying the 5G poles as they are aware that it is the thing triggering the Corona symptoms. But international news not showing this”.
This video has been taken out of context. The footage, originally distributed by local news outlet The Stand News, actually shows protesters tearing down 'smart' lampposts in Hong Kong in August 2019 because of fears they could be used to collect people’s personal data. The original video can be seen here .
According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong protesters were concerned the ‘smart’ lampposts, intended for traffic and weather data collection, among other things, could be used for surveillance and monitoring the population ( here ).
In an article mentioning this incident, the Financial Times reported: “The suspicions around facial recognition in Hong Kong provide a warning of what can happen when a government’s lack of transparency in its use of surveillance tech collides with widespread anger over governance. In the absence of trust, citizens are turning to their own theories of what technology the government is using against them.” ( here ).
The allegation that it is 5G that is making people sick and not COVID-19 has been previously debunked by the Reuters Fact Check team here .
False: This is a video showing Hong Kong protesters tearing down ‘smart’ lampposts in 2019, not people tearing down 5G poles in China
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.