A screenshot of a TikTok spreading a COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy next to a screenshot from the actual video they edited.

VICE/YouTube (Fair Use) @scitimewithtracy/TikTok (Fair Use)

Conspiracy theorists think a heavily edited video shows vaccine whistleblower

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

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Posted on Jan 24, 2022   Updated on Jan 31, 2022, 10:32 am CST

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

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VICE/YouTube (Fair Use) @scitimewithtracy/TikTok (Fair Use)

ONE DUMB CONSPIRACY

Conspiracy theorists think a heavily edited video shows vaccine whistleblower

A TikTok video that purports to show a whistleblower revealing alleged dangers posed by the COVID-19 vaccine has gone viral among conspiracy theorists.

But the video has been edited and repeats numerous debunked claims regarding the safety of vaccinations.

The clip shows a woman being interviewed in a dark room while wearing a mask to hide her identity. 

A woman’s voice then goes on to falsely claim that the COVID vaccine is “catastrophic to your cellular system” and promises to reveal to the viewer “what it does to your body.” 

Although the video was eventually removed, it was able to spread to countless users during its time on the platform.

Despite what the video wants you to believe, the woman featured is not a vaccine whistleblower

In fact, the woman in the video is actually a doctor with the National Health Service in England who spoke with Vice anonymously about the hardships healthcare workers have faced during the pandemic.

The video on TikTok merely removed the audio from the original clip and edited in commentary from an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist.

The column continues below.


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The video was later thoroughly debunked by the popular TikTok user @scitimewithtracy, a retired college professor with a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology.

As @scitimewithtracy correctly notes, the video’s claims—including that the vaccine decreases the body’s white blood cell count—are false.

The video also falsely claims that the second vaccine contains more dangerous ingredients than the first despite both doses being the same

The ingredients in the vaccine are listed publicly online and do not contain aborted fetus cells, triton X-100, thimerosal, or aluminum as many have alleged.

Incredibly, the original poster of the fake video admitted in the caption that they had no proof that the content was real but decided to share it anyway.

“God did give us all free will to do as we choose,” the poster wrote. “This is rather interesting could be a #conspiracytheories but who knows anymore only time will tell.”

Nearly two years into the pandemic, conspiracy theories about COVID continue to flourish online. 

Mikael Thalen


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*First Published: Jan 24, 2022, 10:28 am CST