Fact Check

Is This a 'COVID 5G Chip Diagram'?

The idea that vaccinations will be used by the government to secretly implant tracking devices in humans is a long-standing conspiracy theory.

Published Jan 4, 2021

An image represents a schematic for a 'COVID 5G Chip.'

One of the theories attached to the COVID-19 pandemic, bizarre even by conspiracy-mongering standards, is that vaccine for the coronavirus disease would be used to secretly implant recipients with microchip tracking devices. This theory intersected with equally unfounded conspiracy theories about 5G broadband cellular networks in December 2020, when social media users circulated a graphic identified as a "COVID 5G Chip Diagram":

COVID 5G Chip Diagram

However, as many sources quickly pointed out, this diagram was in fact nothing more than a schematic of a circuit for a BOSS MT-2 Metal Zone electric guitar pedal:

[C]onspiracy theorists shared the schematic online, claiming it depicted the diagram for the supposed 5G chip. It features a section labelled “5G frequency” – clearly the source of many a theorist's eureka moment – as well as terms guitarists will find familiar: “MT-2 Gain”, “Footswitch” among the most recognizable.

Mario Fusco, a senior software engineer at Redhat, spotted the misinformation and took to Twitter to flag it.

The end product that incorporates the circuit shown in this schematic is unrelated to COVID-19, decidedly non-micro, and actually looks something like this:

COVID 5G Chip Diagram

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994 as a creative outgrowth of his wide-ranging interests in a variety of subjects (particularly folklo ... read more

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