MANCHESTER, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - A prestigious social media marketing group is paying amateur actors to impersonate medical doctors and promote the COVID-19 experimental vaccine on TikTok — the Chinese-owned video-sharing social network.
The Manchester-based company KOMI is inviting actors to participate in a TikTok social media project — "filming yourself from home as if you're making multiple Tik Toks about COVID conspiracy theories."
"The aim is to make this [as] believable as possible, as if you're a Tik Tok doctor," advised the advertisement posted on Mandy.com — an international website advertising jobs for actors, performers, filmmakers and production personnel.
The job description requests respondents to impersonate a "GP [general practitioner] talking about COVID-19 and the conspiracy theories surrounding it." A £100 fee is offered to successful actors.
Under Section 49(1) of Britain's Medical Act of 1983, it is a criminal offense to "wilfully and falsely pretend" to be a doctor.
KOMI says it will provide actors with the scripts and require actors pretending to be doctors to make five short video clips "filming [themselves] in selfie mode." Actors will need to film each clip in a different location and wear different clothing for each clip.
"The filming/lighting/sound doesn't have to be perfect; filming on your phone is perfectly fine," notes the advertisement, giving Sunday as the closing date for submissions.
The edited videos will be posted on the channel "It's Gone Viral," a social media brand owned and operated by KOMI Group Ltd., with 8.2 million followers on Facebook, 2.3 million on TikTok and 410,000 on Instagram.
Popular British writer and broadcaster Bev Turner told Church Militant she "became aware of actors taking part in media news coverage as pictures would come up on social media — maybe somebody's profile from a casting agency next to a video of that person in a hospital bed wearing a mask."
The media personality said she "didn't really believe this to be true" because she "believed in the integrity of the British news outlets." An actress friend who does extra work told Turner this couldn't be true but was alerted "to watch out for any requests for auditions."
Turner confirmed that her actress friend, who is on the mailing list for Mandy.com, got the email recruiting actors to be doctors debunking conspiracy theories for a fee of £100. Her friend agreed it was "very dishonest" as actors were "not meant to impersonate doctors to convince young people to think a certain way."
If these dishonest videos get shown, they are deliberately misleading young people. As someone who's worked in media for 22 years, it is a terrible indication of misinformation that's going on in Britain. We know social media isn't always honest, but we don't expect a nicely edited video of actors pretending to be GPs.
When social media giants are shutting down "misinformation" accounts that show adverse reactions to the jab or naming alternative treatments like ivermectin, how come they are fine with allowing fake doctors? It means that open and honest debate is a thing of the past.
Peer-reviewed medical journals have noted the potential of "harnessing" TikTok to convey important public health messages, especially among those who are 13–24 years of age.
A total of 100 videos uploaded by the pro-vaccine World Health Organization (WHO) and posted under the hashtag "#Coronavirus" were viewed 1,194,081,700 times.
Researchers observed that 100 trending videos with the hashtag "#WearAMask" garnered almost 500 million views, and 32 videos on mask-wearing posted by WHO got almost 57 million views.
However, a peer-reviewed study on the psychology of TikTok use warned that "TikTok users are often adolescents and therefore form a group of potentially vulnerable individuals."
In comments to Church Militant, health ethicist Dr. Niall McCrae noted that "the latest development, deploying actors as fake doctors in a campaign against vaccine skeptics, is troubling" and "will harm trust in doctors, reinforcing a hateful division in society between the compliant majority and the minority of freethinkers."
Dr. McCrae continued:
After spending my career in health practice, teaching and research, I am horrified by how long-established ethical and scientific standards are being cast aside by the COVID regime. These paid actors will be like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, luring younger people into a genetic engineering project masquerading as a lifesaving vaccine.
The merry tune will drown out evidence of serious adverse reactions including inflammation of the heart and blood clots. Instead of being informed that the jabs are experimental and ineffectual against coronavirus, and that boosters will be required every few months, young people are being brainwashed into demonizing cautious and rational fellow citizens as "anti-vaxxers." In short, they are being enlisted into a cult.
KOMI has not revealed who its client is and who is paying it to produce the videos, but the project coincides with the British government's new campaign to vaccinate 16- and 17-year-old children with the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), chaired by Prof. Wei Shen Lim, announced the drive Wednesday. Lim has received direct funding of over £25,000 for his work with Pfizer, constituting a potential conflict of interest.
The professor confirmed that children aged 16 and over can be vaccinated without parental consent.
Meanwhile, the contract for actors to pose as doctors is estimated to be lucrative, as the KOMI group announced its turnover hit a million pounds for the first time in 2020 and that it aims to double that figure over the next 12 months.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, KOMI has won major contracts with brands including SWAN, Mars Pets and The Flava People. It has also distributed video content and viral campaign advertisements for BBC Films, O2, Universal, Bud Light and Disney.
The company delivers an average of over one billion views across its portfolio of pages each month, with ARK Media handling the licensing and distribution of KOMI's content for use across editorial, TV production and brand/advertisement segments.
Church Militant contacted KOMI by email and phone but did not receive a response as of press time. ARK Media also did not respond to a request for comment.