Henry Tyne received hundreds of hurtful news after appearing in the BBC New Year’s Eve report. The fountain? Anti-vaccination activists, who falsely believed he was a “crisis actor,” pretended he was sick. COVID-19.
A few days after Christmas, while Henry Tyne was ordering drinks at a bar, he casually looked at his phone. When opening the device, he faced more than 600 notifications.
He started to get frustrated – something he had experienced before – but the 29-year-old from Surrey, England, says this time it was “a hundred times worse”.
There were messages Unpleasant, misleading, threatening.
“The next time you are in a hospital bed it will not be with the corona virus,” said one.
No luck and hospitalized
Tyne’s misfortune began in the summer of 2021 when he fell ill.
He was not vaccinated because he thought his cousin would make any infection mild in young people.
But the technical advisor who shared the jokes on his Instagram account was out of luck.
“Every time I went to bed, I didn’t sleep, I just threw up. One day I get up at 6:00 am and say, ‘I’m going to call an ambulance.’
“The scariest thing is fever and hallucinations”.
In July, Tyne was admitted to hospital and connected to an oxygen pump, and Kovit spoke to BBC reporters about the increase in cases among young people.
“It’s my experience, it’s worse than I thought, so I thought it’s good to be vaccinated,” he says.
He does not think that in a little while he will become the target of a group of anti-vaccine activists.
Foremost among the accusations is that Tyne is a “critical actor.”
What is a crisis actor?
The notion of “crisis actors”, fake or hired to play some tragedy or disaster, is part of many contemporary conspiracy theories.
This concept was used to find out that the parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting (December 2012) are fabricating their personal tragedies.
Of course The BBC does not use “crisis actors” He does not pay interviewees. Tyne did not receive any money for his contribution.
But that does not stop anti-vaccine activists from fabricating false information and launching attacks.
“How much did the BBC pay you to act like Govind-19?” Read a message. Another said: “You are a scumbag. Karma is real, man. “
There were so many bad comments, which are too obvious to share here.
As activists monitored Dine’s online accounts, horrific theories went out of control.
Some even found his LinkedIn profile, one of his former employers, a company that won government contracts to supply computers to schools during epidemics.
The detail is true, but Tyne is no longer an employee at the company, the connection was weak, a coincidence.
After the initial wave of seizures subsided, on the way to full recovery, Tyne tried to make fun of it on his Instagram bio, where he described himself as teasing. “Academy Award winning crisis actor”.
“Humor is my way of dealing with things, you can only laugh,” he explains. “I could not imagine that joke would get me in trouble.”
The second part of the attacks came on December 27 after a BBC special broadcast entitled “Review of 2021: Corona Virus Infection”.
It includes a clip of the original Tyne interview.
Looking at Henry Tyne’s nickname, he found his Instagram bio, read the phrase “crisis actor”, did Google, and someone took the video.
Also shared on the Internet.
It is not clear who created the original video, but it was soon shared on anti-vaccination circles on YouTube and Facebook before launching on Twitter.
One of the main drivers of the Twitter storm was the emerging Welsh politician Richard Taylor. He shared the video on Facebook and generated thousands of reactions with one tweet.
Taylor received 20% of the vote in the 2019 election as the Brexit Party candidate in Blaenau Gwent. He recently campaigned to raise more than $ 80,000 for a theater that was closed for violating Brexit rules.
The politician’s posts said “we’ll see you” next to the video, but when contacted by the BBC, he responded by email: “I did not mention anything in my original post. I’m attracted to social media followers. Results from what they see or read.” .
“It’s unfortunate that Tyne teases himself on his social media accounts.”
“Throughout my life, if someone tells you who they are or who they are, I believe you should trust them, so I took it seriously when Tyne referred to himself as a crisis actor,” Taylor wrote.
The politician also condemned the abuses and threats.
“I will never deliberately contribute to another person’s abuse or intimidation. I have devoted most of my life to helping and serving others,” he said.
But the viral video led to hundreds of false and threatening messages against Tyne.
He estimates that this is three times more than he received in July, including many more Murder threats and fake accounts Created under your name.
Taylor’s Facebook post was labeled as false by fact checkers. One video is still active on YouTube, and several tweets showing the aforementioned video on Twitter.
Meta, the owner of Instagram and Facebook, has removed the fake accounts.
“We apologize to Henry for the inconvenience,” Meta said in a statement.
“Accounts that impersonate someone else on Instagram are not allowed and we have removed the reported accounts.”
For its part, Twitter said in a statement: “We continue to take strict action against content and accounts that promote misinformation and create risk about COVID-19.”
YouTube is investigating the video in question.
All three companies condemned online harassment and said they had rules and tools to protect users.
He laments the various rounds of abuse, and Henry Tyne continues to incite those who accuse him, for example, of saying that he was “ready for other disasters of the fake.”
“That’s all you can do,” he says. “We have to do something on social media. It’s very obvious that they are out of control.
While not dismissing a career in stand-up comedy, Tyne says his Kovit-19 episode was not funny, but very realistic.
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