Conspiracies served on the plate: Case of Belarus

Narrative

The conspiracy palette in Belarus comprised 5G narratives and Bill Gates occult involvement in the spread of coronavirus. It is worth mentioning that, in the margins of our research, we have not encountered the same amount of fake and conspiracy contents as in the other countries of the study.

5G conspiracy theories in Belarus tackle the general belief that antennas provoke health problems. Noteworthy is the fact that, according to a study, Belarusian online media have not published any fake news on this subject. Thus, having no support in the official media, the perpetrators of the 5G conspiracies promoted the content in the social media channels. The same study shows that during May and June, there were 880 posts about 5G and COVID-19 published by authors from Belarus, and 26% of the posts turned out to be fake. With regard to Bill Gates, narratives revolve around Gates’ “obsession about the overpopulation of the planet which made him organize and event-training that imitated the outbreak of coronavirus.

 

Get rid of the people”. Has Bill Gates thought of coronavirus outbreak in 2019?
Source: AiF.by

Dissemination

Pro-Russian media outlets

Pro-Russian media outlets that operate locally in the countries of post-Soviet Union have published a set of investigative articles on the topic of 5G-micro-chiping-Bill Gates. The main weapon of these are actually the tone they suggest. While some articles merely present the fact that there exist such theories and people debate them, other articles seem to present a persuasive point of view and impressive investigative articles that 5G is harmful and is directly related to the Covid-19. Such an article is exemplified below:


The maleficent 5G mystery. Is there any link between COVID and antennas?
Source: AiF.by

However, one of the surprises of the infodemic in Belarus was the fact that the acclaimed Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich believes that there might be a link between coronavirus and 5G network. In an interview to Radio Free Europe, she mentioned:

“We still need to fully understand whether this is the flu or whether 5G is already affecting the human immune system,”


“The state is committing a crime. This is the biggest problem since Chernobyl”, – Alexievich on coronavirus pandemic
Source: Radio Free Europe service in Belarus

Social media
Vkontake, Faceboook and Ok.ru are top 3 most used platforms for promoting fake content and conspiracy theories.


Disproof



The pilot program of the 5G network starts in Belarus
Source: Tvr.by

In Belarus, the 5G network has been launched for a pilot-testing. Nevertheless, the World Health Organization reiterates that viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.