Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Destruction Of 5G Towers During Rampage

Fact Check

  • by: Gita Smith
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Destruction Of 5G Towers During Rampage Old Video

Did a man take down 5G towers during a rampage in Australia? No, that is not true. The viral video showing the destruction was shot in 2009, nine years before 5G arrived in the country. In 2009, towers were offering 3G and some 4G service.

The March 30, 2020, video (archived here) appears on YouTube as "BREAKING NEWS. Telecom worker destoys towers to Warn Public." It was posted by Bad Influence, and the description read:

A man takes it upon himself to get in his friends APC/tank and destroy mobile phone masts he believes are causing him to fall ill after testing the area and finding high levels of radiation #5g#Tank#Viral

Users on social media saw this:

Man smashes 5g towers down with tank after testing area for radiation

A man takes it upon himself to get in his friends APC/tank and destroy mobile phone masts he believes are causing him to fall ill after testing the area and finding high levels of radiation #5g#Tank#Viral

In addition to claims of alleged health dangers from 5G - claims that have been debunked previously - this Australian video warns that 5G users' personal data will be stolen and sold to "big government," especially if they are conservative politically or Christian.

This 2009 post is misleading because 5G wasn't used in Australia until 2018. Telstra made this launch announcement in a 2018 press release:

Telstra has announced what it termed 'another milestone in its 5G roadmap', having achieved a live 5G connection using a commercial fifth-generation chipset on its mobile network. The company said that this development represented the country's first live 5G 3GPP R15 data call.

'Today's announcement is a significant milestone as it signals that commercial 5G devices are getting closer and closer... The team will continue testing over the coming months to improve data rates and overall performance in readiness for device availability.'

The original video of cell tower destruction was posted in 2009.

According to reports, the man who burned the towers outfitted a stolen British army tank and took down six towers. He was on his way to the seventh tower.

Greg Morris of the telecom company, Telstra, told reporters:

The man had a beef with mobile phone towers. He told us he was going through a medical claim for his head injury. He said something about the radiation from the towers had caused it."


  Gita Smith

Gita Smith covered news for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Montgomery Advertiser, and she wrote/edited medical newsletters for American Health Consultants at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic when clear, factual information was as needed. 

For a time, she taught in Auburn University’s journalism department and ran the History-Geography lab at Alabama State University, where she taught students to write research papers . She believes the following to be true: The power of the free press may appear to be a weak reed to lean on, but it separates democracies from juntas.

Read more about or contact Gita Smith

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