French influencers say they were approached online by people, seemingly linked to Russia, who offered thousands of dollars to post misleading content about the safety of the Pfizer vaccine, according to an investigation by French counterintelligence authorities.
Per the Washington Post:
“Taking to Twitter earlier this week, French YouTuber Léo Grasset — also known as DirtyBiology — said he had received a “strange” proposal and attached screenshots of the request, which asked him to falsely tell followers that “the mainstream media ignores” the fact that the vaccine has been linked to a high death toll. The messages informed Grasset that the agency had a “colossal budget” and that if he wanted to work with the company, he would have to hide sponsorship details from viewers.”
Gasset said that all of the social media accounts and their LinkedIn Profiles have vanished since he was contacted. Other influencers were reportedly offered as much as $2,450 to publish similar posts.
In France, anti-vaccine sentiment has been among the highest in the world, though the country has made strides to combat this mentality as more and more countries open up after success with the vaccine. Pfizer is the most common vaccine in France, and one influencer reports that he was offered money to share “leaked documents” that linked the Pfizer vaccine to deaths.
However, despite 60 percent of French people reporting at one point that they were skeptical of covid-19 vaccines, a full 34 percent of the population is now vaccinated, though authorities aren’t sure how future attempts by mysterious groups to dissuade citizens from protecting themselves against coronavirus will fare on a population that remains skeptical.