A screenshot of a TikTok claiming he had to wear a mask during a Zoom call. In the background, a disposable face mask is seen.

@zactokz/TikTok (Fair Use) dronepicr/Flickr (CC-BY)

TikTok video fools users into believing company requires masks for Zoom calls

Here's this week's 'One Dumb Conspiracy' newsletter.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Published Jan 10, 2022   Updated Jan 10, 2022, 10:40 am CST

Welcome to the Monday edition of Internet Insider, dissecting online disinformation—one dumb conspiracy at a time.

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A screenshot of a TikTok claiming he had to wear a mask during a Zoom call. In the background, a disposable face mask is seen.

ONE DUMB CONSPIRACY

TikTok video fools users into believing company requires masks for Zoom calls

A video surrounding an alleged company policy requiring face masks for Zoom meetings has gone viral on TikTok.

The issue first began on Dec. 30 when TikTok user @zactokz claimed his boss sent out a company-wide email stating that everyone must wear masks during video meetings due to one employee’s “fear” of maskless people.

The video was seen more than 1.4 million times and led countless users to express their shock at the alleged company policy.

“Absolutely not,” one user replied. “I don’t think it can be healthy to appease such an irrational fear.”

But not everyone believed the outlandish claim. One user demanded to see the alleged company email in which the new policy was purportedly announced.

In a follow up on Tuesday, @zactokz showed what he claimed was an email from an individual identified as “Ashleigh Leighanne Davidson-Greene” in a video that ultimately racked up over 2.5 million views.

Once again, users reacted with shock at the company’s decision.

“I would refer this to HR it’s completely unreasonable you are working from home your employer cannot dictate what you wear,” one user said.

Screenshots of the email quickly made their way to other social media platforms such as Twitter, where users opposed to vaccines and other health mandates weighed in.

The column continues below.


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A disposable face mask.

In yet another video on Wednesday, @zactokz shared what he claimed was his email response in which he declined to comply with the new policy. 

Not only that, @zactokz suggested that the fearful employee could “close her eyes or cover up her screen.”

On Thursday, @zactokz uploaded what he claimed was his boss’ response: The employee was asked to cover her eyes during the entire duration of all future meetings.

Not only that, the boss informed @zactokz that he was still “required to mask up at all times” while working from home.

The ridiculousness of the email finally led users to begin questioning the story’s legitimacy, although many still appeared to believe it was true.

This has to be a joke,” one user responded.

Unsurprisingly, there’s no evidence whatsoever that @zactokz’s claims are true. In fact, a simple glance at his TikTok profile late last week showed that his content is admittedly “satire.”

Yet after the Daily Dot reached out to @zactokz over email and Instagram, the satire notice on the profile was removed. The Daily Dot can confirm that @zactokz viewed our message on Instagram but did not reply.

Either way, don’t expect to be forced by your employer to wear a mask while working alone from home anytime soon.

Mikael Thalen


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*First Published: Jan 10, 2022, 10:27 am CST