If you’ve somehow managed to miss the hot new conspiracy theory bouncing round the web linking 5G internet to the coronavirus, you’ve probably been living somewhere in Australia where the internet is so shit you can’t even refresh your newsfeed.
The bonkers idea that radio towers were somehow spreading a virus has massively caught on with the kinds of people that use the password reset function every time they want to log into Facebook, fanned on by the anti-vaxx crowd and a small group of social media sites that seem to be entirely inept at shutting down echo-chamber cults on their platforms. It has gotten so bad now that both the state and federal governments have had to speak out against the theory, with the Chief Medical Officer, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, and the NSW department of Health all releasing statements begging people to stop being so fucking gullible.
While crazed anti-lockdown cults burning down cell towers is all a bit of good old fashioned cabin-fever fun, the recent introduction of Bill Gates conspiracy theories into the mix has far more wide reaching implications than some slow video downloads. The idea was first introduced by the anti-vaxx crowd, who have had it in for Gates for some time given his selfish plan to vaccinate the world’s children to stop them all dying of preventable disease – and it is now threatening to take on a life of its own.
A poll conducted this week by Essential Research has found that a worrying 20% of 18 to 34-year olds think Bill Gates was involved in creating or spreading the coronavirus, and is especially worrying for a generation that is supposed to be the most over-educated with over half of that very same demographic now holding a post-school qualification. Makes you wonder what all that student debt is for if we can’t even work out that radio waves don’t cause the flu.