Why Russia Is Spreading State-Funded 5G Fake News in the U.S.

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The 5G revolution is coming — and it’s going to change everything. But a new disinformation campaign is sowing doubt about the next-generation wireless technology.

An investigative piece by The New York Times has found that a Russian government-funded news network, RT, is sounding the alarm about 5G networks.

The network’s U.S. arm, RT America, has aired various exaggerated reports about the “dangers” of 5G technology. According to intelligence experts, RT is just part of Russia’s increasing efforts to destabilize the West.

In the past, the network has launched propaganda campaigns against various political candidates (particularly during the 2016 election), as well as against vaccinations and GMOs. Now, RT is taking aim at 5G.

More specifically, the Russian network is “selectively reporting the most sensational claims” and “giving a few marginal opponents of wireless technology a conspicuous new forum.”

Various RT news clips and stories have linked 5G to brain cancer, autism, infertility, and a host of other health effects. Of course, those claims are thoroughly unsupported by trustworthy studies.

As we’ve covered in the past, science has largely failed to conclusively link smartphone radiation to negative health effects like cancer — and much of the data flies in the face of those exaggerated claims. Concerns about the dangers of upcoming 5G networks are similarly unfounded.

While you can find tons of pieces on 5G dangers on sketchy websites and fringe pseudoscience blogs, we recommend looking at reputable groups like the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute.

But RT is taking a hardline stance against 5G, running news stories and airing broadcast shows with catchy-but-thoroughly-exaggerated headlines like “5G Apocalypse and “Wireless Cancer.”

That’s interesting, because the Russian government and news networks in the country have taken to talking about the launch of Russian 5G networks in purely positive terms.

Why are the Russian government and Russian state-funded networks doing this? Ryan Fox, the chief operating officer of anti-disinformation firm New Knowledge, says that it’s likely sowing discord in an attempt to dull the U.S. advantage in the “global race for the digital future.”

“It’s economic warfare,” Fox told the NYT. “Russia doesn’t have a good 5G play, so it tries to undermine and discredit ours.”

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