AN MP has blasted Tik Tok for not removing a “beautiful but wicked” anti-vaxxer who claims the Covid-19 jab is made of “aborted foetuses”.
SNP politician John Nicolson has blasted the social media platform for allowing dangerous anti-vaxxer “fanatics” to spread lies about the life-saving vaccine.
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The “beautiful but wicked” Tik Tok user made absurd anti-vaxx claims about the Covid-19 jab
Mr Nicolson blasted Tik Tok for leaving the crazed theories on the platformCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Theo Bertram, public policy director at Tik Tok, claimed anti-vaxx content was removed from the platform
Mr Nicolson grilled Theo Bertram, public policy director at Tik Tok, at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select committee today.
He stormed: “We’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, 1.7 million people have died, of that, 66,000 in the UK alone.
“At last, we get a vaccine, and yet you allow vaccination fanatics to spread lies on your platform? Why?”
When Mr Bertram claimed that “wasn’t accurate” and that Tik Tok “doesn’t allow anti-vaccination information on the platform”, Mr Nicolson once laid into him over one woman with tens of thousands of followers spreading absurd claims.
He blasted: “Do you know who Olivia Madison is? She’s got 606,000 followers on her platform.”
“I suspected you’d tell us you were taking down all these videos, so i looked her up.
“She’s very beautiful and what she does is utterly wicked.”
He quoted a ridiculous claim from the Tik Tok user saying the jab “contains foetuses” and she “doesn’t believe in injecting a baby with another baby”.
Mr Nicolson branded her a anti-vaxx “fanatic”
The anti-vaxxer has 38,000 followers
Mr Nicolson demanded to know why the content was still online
Suggestions the vaccination contains aborted foetuses is a frequently spouted conspiracy theory which has been thoroughly debunked.
Mr Nicolson said: “606,000 followers and her videos are still up.”
The user has 606,000 likes and 38,000 followers, rather than hundreds of thousands of followers.
JUST ONE OF MANY
Responding to the fake theories being spread on Tik Tok, Mr Bertram said: “I’d be happy to refer her to the team so I can review, that certainly sounds like it’s violating our rules.”
But Mr Nicolson said she was just one of many on the platform.
“It took me just minutes to find lots and lots of people saying similar things, with tens and hundreds of thousands of followers, up on your platform.”
And he accused Tik Tok of failing to take control of the abundance of lies being uploaded.
“The point I’m making is, if you can’t sort out somebody with 606,000 followers, what chances are there that you’re going to get rid of the smaller fry? I mean this woman’s just screaming lies as publicly as she possibly can, very professionally produced videos.”
Mr Bertram said he “couldn’t make a judgment on that specific video” but promised to “review it”.
“What I can say is that we have a clear policy against vaccine disinformation, we had that in place since March.”
Mr Nicolson cut into his explanation of the policy, saying “it’s not working”.
FACT FROM FICTION: THE COVID JAB
Q) Are these vaccines a cure for Covid-19?
A) No. They stop most of us suffering serious symptoms and reduce rates of infection.
But they will not cure those who already have the virus before getting a vaccine, and we cannot be sure they will stop people spreading it.
We have had flu jabs for a long time but they have only reduced death rates, rather than eradicating the illness.
Q) Do I need to be vaccinated if young and fit?
A) Yes, the virus will still be circulating even after older people get the jabs.
The best way to stop it spreading is to vaccinate as many people as possible. That way we can all get back to normal.
Q) If I get a vaccine can I still infect people?
A) Scientists are still not sure about this. The jabs are designed to make sure our immune systems can fight the virus once we catch it. They should stop 90 per cent plus of us developing serious symptoms.
But a problem with Covid-19 is that people are infectious even if they show no symptoms such as a fever or cough. So a person could pass on the virus after vaccination.
Only after many more people have had the jabs will we know whether or not they are “transmission-blocking”.
Q) Will either of the jabs alter my DNA?
A) No. Both inject RNA, which is essentially DNA of the virus, not human DNA.
The technique is known as messenger RNA because it tells our immune system to produce a protein that is present on a Covid-19 cell.
This then enables our immune system to learn how to fight the virus with anti-bodies if we do get infected.
Bacteriology expert Professor Hugh Pennington says the jabs will cause “no change to DNA any more than after infection with a common cold.”
Q) Vaccines like this have not been used before, so can we be sure they are safe?
A) Messenger RNA has never been used in a jab but scientists had been testing it for this purpose long before Covid-19. But the new vaccines still need to be checked by regulators in Britain and other countries.
Q) Have the jabs been rushed through too quickly?
A) It takes on average eight years to develop a jab and pharmaceutical firms have been unable to develop any for other coronaviruses.
But given the impacts of the pandemic, scientists across the world put an unprecedented amount of work into creating a vaccine.
And a huge number of volunteers have already been used as guinea pigs for the jab to make sure it is safe. In the UK alone, 250,000 citizens have stepped forward.
After trials, the vaccine goes through incredibly stringent processes from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The MHRA put the results of the trials and the jab under rigorous scrutiny before allowing it to be rolled out in the UK.