As might have been expected, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought with it a host of far-fetched conspiracy theories.
Perhaps the most notable of these has been the tenuous link between the virus and the development of 5G mobile networks.
Unfortunately for telcos around the world, they have now been brought in to such discussions.
Australian telco Telstra – which has been leading the development of Australia’s 5G capacities – on Thursday found itself at the centre of another 5G/COVID-19 story.
A screenshot started circling social media of the Telstra Facebook account responding to a conspiracy theorist.
“The 5G towers will help download your conspiracy videos faster,” Telstra clapped back at the Facebook user, who had claimed 5G towers “cause COVID”.
Despite Telstra’s response earning praise, it soon turned out the screenshot was in fact a fake.
However, rather than distancing itself from the fake post, Telstra’s official Twitter account decided to embrace the sentiment of the original post.
“Attention everyone. This isn’t real, but we wish it was. So we’re tweeting it now,” Telstra said.
Attention everyone. This isn’t real, but we wish it was. So we're tweeting it now. https://t.co/7fM7ofA23C
— Telstra (@Telstra) May 21, 2020
There were more positive responses to Telstra’s follow-up post.
“Love this, @Telstra needs to show their funny bone more often,” one person Tweeted.
“Well played indeed,” another said.
“This is the best use of social media,” someone else Tweeted.