Sunday, May 26, 2019

What you don't know about 5G can hurt you ...

… because the lack of knowledge leaves you susceptible to dezinformatsiya.

Dictionary.com defines misinformation as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” Disinformation, on the other hand, is defined as “deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda.”

The latest target of American right-wing disinformation is the coming 5G internet.
The latest target of Russian dezinformatsiya is the coming 5G internet.
That’s right. We have here a convergence of two entities which will profit from sowing suspicion about fifth generation internet.

Let’s digress for a moment. Suppose you believe that using computers make you dumber - but that you want computers to never be built. Therefore, you can never test your belief. That’s part of the arguing points in the 5G “debate.” The right-wing conspiracy nuts are claiming adverse health effects of 5G without ever deploying it.

Judd Legum at popular.info tells us about Fox News (and others) combining with the Russian “news” outlet RT in attempts to create distrust of the new technology in the Subscriber’s Post O-M–5G.

Tucker Carlson is using his platform on Fox News to promote the conspiracy theory that 5G, a new wireless protocol being rolled out in the United States, poses a health risk. There is no evidence that 5G can damage your health but conspiracy websites and Russian propaganda networks have been doing their best to foment fear.

Now Carlson is bringing the same conspiratorial message to millions of people. To accomplish this, Carlson is using his favorite technique: He’s just asking questions.

"Are 5G networks safe? Physically, medically safe? There’s some debate about that,” Carlson began. There is actually no meaningful debate.

“We don’t know the long-term health risk [of 5G] and I’m not willing to take that off the table,” [Fox News medical contributor Marc] Sieigel said.

“But before those studies are available we are building an infrastructure and doing it anyway?” Carlson asked. The question makes little sense – you can’t study the long-term impacts of the use of a technology without deploying it – and Siegel backed off slightly.

Actual scientific research shows that 5G is safe.

There have been lots of studies on the impacts of the use of wireless technologies by humans. The World Health Organization says none of them have found a health risk: “A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”

5G has a higher frequency than earlier technologies, but that makes it safer, not more dangerous because the “higher the radio frequency, the less it penetrates human skin, lowering exposure of the body’s internal organs, including the brain.”

“5G emissions, if anything, should be safer than previous generations,” Dr. Marvin C. Ziskin, who studies radiology at Temple University Medical School, said.

Scientific studies and medical facts haven’t stopped RT, the Russian’s state propaganda outlet that broadcasts in America, from sounding the alarm. RT hosts have repeatedly linked 5G to “brain cancer, infertility, autism, heart tumors and Alzheimer’s disease.”

One segment posted by RT to Youtube called “5G Wireless: A Dangerous ‘Experiment on Humanity’” has over 1.6 million views.

(BTW: Why is Youtube hosting RT?)

Why does it matter that domestic and foreign propaganda outlets are spreading information about 5G? As we’ve seen with vaccines, this kind of shameless health misinformation can have serious consequences. Conspiracy theorists linked vaccines to autism and many people stopped vaccinating their children. Measles was practically eradicated and now there are outbreaks throughout the United States.

Misinformation about 5G could also put people’s health at risk. One of the most promising applications of 5G technology is in healthcare, where 5G could give millions of people access to high-quality care remotely. But if people believe being near a 5G device is dangerous, they might not avail themselves to this kind of treatment.

Scientific misinformation about technology – whether it is vaccines or 5G – creates fear and avoidance. Adverse health consequences follow.

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