An Aussie-based doctor with more than 100,000 followers on TikTok shared some v. crucial advice on how to debunk anti-vax influencers, even if you’re not a doctor.
Dr. Michael (@dr_michael_says) began the video by saying that it’s “quite concerning how much misinformation these three social media influencers are sharing,” before showing a screenshot from a livestream involving Aussie influencers Anna-Rose Richards, Taylor Winerstein and Leila Stead. All three influencers have been very vocal about their anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown views since the start of the pandemic.
In the first TikTok, Dr. Michael said you “don’t need to be a doctor to know that they’re posting misinformation,” before debunking a post that Anna-Rose has shared.
The first one is a screenshot from the Pfizer website that appears to inform pregnant women that they should not get the vaccine.
Dr. Michael’s TikTok response.
Dr. Michael then pointed out that the post appears to highlight a passage from a different part of the site, where it says you should tell your doctor if you’re pregnant, and suggests it’s linked to the “individuals should not get the Pfizer vaccine if they:” part.
“This is complete misinformation,” Dr. Michael claimed.
“Either they can’t read properly or they’re wilfully spreading misinformation.”
In a subsequent TikTok, my new favourite doctor analysed a screenshot shared by WAG Taylor Winerstein. The screenshot falsely claims that “more people are dying from vaccines than from COVID.”
He then headed on over to the Government Health website, where it states that at the time the video was made, a total of eight people had died from the vaccine since the start of the pandemic.
In comparison, 1,256 people have died in Australia from COVID-19.
Anna-Rose Richards and Taylor Winerstein were recently the focus of a Change.org petition that called on Instagram to de-platform Australian influencers who promote COVID conspiracies and anti-vaccination rhetoric to their followers.
The petition has amassed 8,688 signatures at the time of reporting.