Feelings of helplessness fueling conspiracy theories in NZ

conspiracy theories

Cell phone towers across New Zealand are being set on fire, and authorities believe the attacks are linked to the increasing proliferation of conspiracy theories connecting 5G networks to the coronavirus pandemic.

David Farrier joined anti-5G Facebook groups after receiving online abuse for appearing in a pro-5G commercial.

He told The Project that memberships in these groups have swelled since the pandemic.

One of the larger groups has grown from 3,000 people before the crisis to 13,000 and climbing.

In a tweet Farrier said he had filed police reports about death threats against the prime minister he had seen in some of the Facebook groups.

“For them, this flat denial from the government just proved their theories correct.

This was a conspiracy that went right to the top.

And in the groups, they continued to cheer the arsonists on.”

New Zealanders were already wary of 5G: A survey released in December found 46 per cent of people were worried the network could affect human health, according to Newsroom.

But since the coronavirus has become a pandemic and New Zealand went into a strict lockdown, conspiracy theories have become more popular.

The Prime Minister’s chief science advisor, Juliet Gerrard, has launched a website aimed at correcting misapprehensions around 5G.

“There is no evidence whatsoever that coronavirus is in any way connected to 5G,” it reads.

“It has all the ingredients for leading people to conspiracy theories,” said Karen M. Douglas, a social psychologist who studies belief in conspiracies at the University of Kent.

“Rumours and patently unbelievable claims are spread by everyday people whose critical faculties have simply been overwhelmed, psychologists say, by feelings of confusion and helplessness.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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