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Teenage warriors help the White House smash vaccine fake news

Teenage warriors help the White House smash vaccine fake news 3

Teenage warriors help the White House smash vaccine fake news

Ellie Zeiler, 17 years old, a TikTok content creator with 10 million followers, in June suddenly received an email from Village Marketing, a management and marketing company on social networking platforms.

Village Marketing wanted to know if Zeiler, a high school student who often posts short videos about fashion and lifestyle, would be willing to join a White House-backed campaign to encourage her fans to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

`The need to raise vaccination awareness among young people aged 12-18 is huge,` Village Marketing’s invitation letter to Zeiler said.

TikTok star Christina Najja with the social media name Tinx.

Zeiler quickly agreed, participating in a large-scale government campaign to raise awareness about Covid-19 vaccines among young people, the group with the lowest vaccination rate in the US.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half of Americans aged 18 to 39 have been fully vaccinated.

To reach these young people, the White House recruited 18-year-old pop singer Olivia Rodrigo and an `army` of more than 50 streamers on social networking platforms Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok.

State and local governments are also implementing similar campaigns.

The effort is part of a campaign by authorities to combat the wave of misinformation about vaccines flooding the Internet, where anti-vaccine groups are so active that many young online content creators have had to

`The anti-vaccination front on the Internet is still overwhelming compared to other information about vaccination,` said Samir Mezrahi, administrator of several social networking sites with over 4 million followers.

While celebrity mobilization campaigns on social media can be effective, they cannot compare to mass online movements, said Renee DiResta, an expert on disinformation at the Stanford Internet Observatory.

`Many people believe that vaccines can harm your health and complain about it every day,` DiResta commented.

But even if the campaign to mobilize social media influencers is nothing more than a grain of salt, some content creators still feel they have an obligation to get involved.

`I’m not afraid of backlash,` said Christina Najjar, 30, a TikTok star with the nickname Tinx.

Najjar said she was very excited when the White House contacted her through her manager in June. Najjar then posted a Q&A video about vaccines with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The content of the conversation was quite light.

`I will tell my Botox doctor,` Najjar replied wryly.

American public health officials have used celebrities to reach the public since Elvis Presley rolled up his sleeve to get a polio vaccine on the `Ed Sullivan Show` in 1956. Today, young people tend to

`We need to mobilize an army of influencers to spread pro-vaccine messages,` said Jason Harris, CEO of advertising company Mekanism.

President Biden’s administration began paying attention to the power of online content creators in January, according to White House digital strategy director Rob Flaherty.

He joined Clarke Humphrey, the White House’s Covid-19 digital communications director, in collaborating with Village Marketing and Made to Save, a national campaign to improve vaccine access.

In June, they held several meetings on the Zoom platform for online content creators to ask questions about vaccines and how they work.

Since then, the Biden administration has hosted discussions between social media influencers and Dr. Fauci and brought singer Rodrigo to the White House, where she made a call for people to `immediately

In March, the White House also organized an online discussion between Dr. Fauci and Eugenio Derbez, a Mexican actor with more than 16.6 million followers on Instagram, who has publicly expressed skepticism about vaccines.

`What happens if I get the vaccine but it doesn’t protect me against the new strain?`, Derbez asked.

Dr. Fauci acknowledged that vaccines may not completely protect people against mutations, but noted that they are `very, very effective at protecting you from getting more seriously ill.`

According to Flaherty, the ultimate goal of the campaign is `to spread positive information about vaccines.`

Teenage warriors help the White House smash vaccine fake news

Ellie Zeiler, 17 years old, TikTok content creator with 10 million followers.

In states and localities, similar efforts are being made but on a smaller scale.

Many influential faces have shown off where they were vaccinated on their arms or took photos while getting vaccinated to emphasize their achievements.

`I’ve joined the Pfizer club,` Ashley Cummins, an online fashion and lifestyle influencer from Boulder, Colorado, recently boasted in a smiling selfie while holding her vaccination certificate.

`So excited!`, one of her fans commented.

Idea Marketing president Patricia Lepiani said small, local influencers are being recruited because they seem more relatable than national social media stars.

For TikTok star Zeiler, things happened quickly after she signed a contract to join the White House-backed vaccination campaign.

Zeiler has since continuously used videos recorded of conversations between her and Dr. Fauci on other platforms, including Instagram, and created videos on YouTube to spread the message about the benefits of vaccines.

In a 47-second video, she looks directly into the camera, listing the reasons she decided to get vaccinated and that others should do the same.

`The first reason, you can go anywhere you want,` Zeiler asserted.

In an interview, Zeiler said her work is not yet done.

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