France praises YouTubers for foiled Pfizer vaccine smear | Your money
LE PECQ, France (AP) – The French government on Wednesday congratulated YouTubers and other social media influencers who resisted a mysterious effort to recruit them to a smear campaign to spread disinformation to their millions of young followers about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Several France-based influencers with sizable audiences on Twitter, Instagram and other platforms have said they have been contacted with covert payment offers to make false claims about the supposed deadly risks of the Pfizer vaccine.
YouTuber Léo Grasset, among those contacted, said the shady advertising agency seeking to recruit him “wanted me to talk about the Pfizer vaccine in a way that would damage the reputation of the Pfizer vaccine.”
He and others said they refused. French government spokesman Gabriel Attal received a boost on Wednesday.
“I want to salute the great responsibility of these young YouTubers or influencers who not only did not fall into the trap of this and let themselves be manipulated out of greed, but also denounced it publicly,” Attal said. “I really want. To greet this.
Grasset, who has 1.1 million YouTube subscribers, said he and other creators of social media and internet content were “at the center of something happening like an information war.”
The person who contacted Grasset identified himself as Anton and said his advertising agency had a “considerable enough” budget for what he described as an “information campaign” on “COVID- 19 and vaccines offered to the European population, in particular AstraZeneca and Pfizer. “
Specifically, “Anton” requested a 45-60 second video on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube to say that “Pfizer’s vaccine death rate is 3 times that of AstraZeneca” and wondered why the Union European buys it.
He declined in a follow-up email to disclose who is funding the campaign, saying, “The client prefers to remain incognito.”
The instructions he sent also said that if influencers were willing to participate, they shouldn’t say they were sponsored and should “present the material as your own independent point of view.”
Grasset shared the email exchanges with the Associated Press. He said that given his great popularity on YouTube, he might have earned tens of thousands of euros (dollars) if he had agreed to participate.
Instead, he replied, “I can’t work for a client who doesn’t give their name and asks me to hide the partnership.”
The AP sent emails requesting comment to a contact address listed on the advertising agency’s website and to the email address used by “Anton”. Neither has elicited a response.
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