President Macron wishes to wet his shirt. Or, more precisely, the t-shirt. The French leader shared a video on his Instagram and TikTok accounts on Monday, August 2 in which he appears to be the VRP of Pfizer-Biontech or Moderna serums, dressed casually.
“Many of you are wondering, fear, hear false information, false rumours, sometimes anything, it must be said,” said he faces the camera, as you can see in the video at the top of the article before adding: “I decided to answer your questions directly. Go ahead, put them to me and I’ll try to be as direct and clear as possible.”
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So here we have the Head of State transformed into an influencer from Fort Brégançon, one of the presidential residences. But why this one-of-a-kind exercise in the midst of his summer vacation? Above all, it is for President Macron to invest in areas and reach populations that the public sector has difficulty reaching.
There are countless cases of bogus news or terrifying remarks going ultra-viral on TikTok, for example, the favourite social network of the younger generation. The French Insurance Federation had to issue a press release in mid-July to clarify that, contrary to what an Internet user said, unvaccinated persons who took out a loan were not at risk of losing their homes.
More recently, theories such as the arm becoming magnetic after a vaccine injection or that attesting to the effectiveness of aspi-venom in eradicating the product from its body have found a home on the network.
According to AFP, a man boasted on July 29 in a Tik Tok video that had been viewed more than 56,000 times that he had obtained his health pass by draining his anti-Covid injection.
In a completely different genre, “Kim Glow,” a former reality TV contender, regularly broadcasts conspiracy ideas to her 3 million Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok followers: the Covid is a genocide against the elderly, vaccines inject 5G chips…
Several journalists have also highlighted the significance of these platforms in disseminating this bizarre, if not harmful, content. A journalist from Le Figaro described how TikTok bombarded her with anti-vaccine remarks in a series of tweets published at the end of July, which you can find here.
Je relance TikTok pour la première fois depuis un bail et en moins de 5 minutes, j’ai 4 vidéos anti-vaccination pic.twitter.com/9vNLoJZnzH
— Chloé Woitier ☕ (@W_Chloe) July 29, 2021
Investing in these platforms is thus a method to combat “false information,” as President Macron put it, as well as to reach out to the youth, at a time when the administration sees immunization of this demographic as a lifeline ahead of the fourth wave.
On Monday, among the first queries on Instagram were those of a user who had “already received (his) two doses” and wanted to know if a “third dose doable in 6 months,” as well as a woman’s testimony that she was “vaccinated and released!”
However, “What is the point of being vaccinated when wearing a mask outside has become necessary in some regions?,”… “How can you establish that the vaccination reduces severe forms?”, and “What is it? in this vaccine?”
A whole program, Emmanuel Macron emphasizes in his first video that vaccination is the “sole weapon” against the covid-19 outbreak, with “just over 42 million French people who have had an injection” and “just over 35 million “who have received the two doses and are thus thoroughly vaccinated, fully vaccinated.”
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Above all, the French government is not the only one interested in investing in social networks in this worldwide context of pandemic rise.
In Canada, government officials are using TikTok to broadcast unique films and are enlisting the help of various influencers to spread the word. In France, it is the President of the Republic, dressed in a t-shirt and taking a selfie, who is in charge.