A new online petition has been launched calling on Facebook to ban anti-vaxxer influencers on Instagram.
The Change.org petition NRL WAG has called on Taylor Winterstein and YouTuber Anna-Rose Richards in particular for their scientifically debunked advice to followers amid the ongoing Covid pandemic.
“These wellness influencers are dangerous and selfish,” the petition reads.
Dangerous advice: Change.org petition has notably called on NRL WAG Taylor Winterstein (right) and YouTuber Anna-Rose Richards (left) for their scientifically debunked advice
The influencers “use their major social media platforms on Instagram to encourage their followers to decline wearing masks, ignore medical advice from healthcare providers, use unproven Covid ‘drugs’ such as ivermectin and encourage natural immunity.”
The petition continues: “They are profiting financially from the mistrust and lies they share by increasing their audience and securing brand recommendations while weaponizing mental health and pushing their harmful rhetoric to tens of thousands of followers.”
“They are anti-science and share information related to far-right extremist movements, veiled by messages about well-being and spirituality.”
At the time of writing, the petition had nearly 6,000 signatures in 48 hours.
Unskilled: The influencers ‘use their major social media platforms on Instagram to encourage their followers to refuse masks and ignore medical advice from healthcare professionals’
The petition calls on Instagram to “remove their platforms,” saying that “so many of us have reported their accounts and posts on Instagram multiple times, but our requests have been ignored.”
Footy WAG and influencer Winterstein became the face of the anti-vaccination movement after she revealed in 2019 that she would not vaccinate the children she shares with former Penrith Panthers player Frank Winterstein.
She and Frank are no strangers to promoting health misinformation on social media, often sharing bizarre posts questioning the existence of Covid-19, the safety of vaccines and the closing of lockdown restrictions.
Absolutely no doctors: former Wests Tigers club receptionist Taylor pictured with her former NRL player husband Frank, both of whom provide medical advice online
The former Wests Tigers club receptionist was also an ambassador for the anti-vaccination film Vaxxed and gives workshops on the so-called ‘dangers’ of vaccinations and scientific medical research.
Last year, Taylor controversially claimed that the government’s decision to shut down the nation was not to “help the health workers” as advertised, but was an attempt to “manipulate the masses” and “use this PLANdemic to accelerate vaccines and justify vaccine mandates’.
While absolutely none of her claims have been scientifically proven, Taylor insisted she had “collected the critical information needed to break the coronavirus ‘scam epidemic’.”
Covidiot: Winterstein became the face of the anti-vaccination movement after revealing in 2019 she would not vaccinate her children
Meanwhile, podcaster Anna-Rose Richards counts actress Isabel Lucas among her fans.
Last month, the Australian star responded to Anna’s embarrassing video claiming a student died from a Covid-19 vaccine he never actually received.
St Pius X College student Tom Van Dijk (17) died on August 21 at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney after suffering cardiac arrest while diving with his family.
Podcaster Anna Richards falsely claimed the champion swimmer and musician died shortly after receiving a dose of Pfizer vaccine in a video posted to Instagram.
False: Anti-vaxxer Isabel Lucas (pictured) has thanked podcaster Anna Richards for posting an embarrassing video linking 17-year-old student’s tragic death to a Covid shot he didn’t even get
“What Australia is seemingly doing to our children,” she captioned the post.
Former Home and Away star Isabel responded to the embarrassing video by responding to the message: “Thank you.”
“I always send you love,” Anna replied.
False reports are circulating online claiming that Van Dijk died shortly after receiving a dose of Pfizer vaccine.
However, Chatswood school principal John Couani revealed that the student had not even received his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
‘We have had a tragic loss’ [but] he did not have Covid-19 and did not die as a result of the vaccine,” Mr Couani . told The North Shore Times.
“We are a community in terrible grief, but there is a lot of misinformation that needs to stop.”
Mr Couani said other rumors on social media that the school was pressuring students to get vaccinated against the virus were overwhelming and “horrifying”.
“The school has not forced students to get vaccinated… the school is not in a hot spot or area of concern for the local government… we have not made a statement calling for student vaccinations,” he said.
Response: Isabel responded to the embarrassing video by responding to the message: ‘Thank you’
A bizarre Facebook post falsely claimed that a “suppression order” prevented the school or the media from identifying the teen.
Another report erroneously stated that the 17-year-old died “shortly after” receiving an injection of the Pfizer vaccine at the Homebush Vaccination Center in Sydney’s west.
Mr Couani described Tom in a letter to the wider school community as an “incredible young man loved by all”.
“He helped others, was a friend to everyone in Year 12 and had some incredible gifts as a high-achieving academic student, champion swimmer and an accomplished violinist,” Mr Couani said in the statement.
“There are many students in the younger classes who would know Tom, and they will all testify to his strong but gentle character and the care he gave to younger students.”
He said the teen had told his parents before his death that he wanted to donate his organs to help others in need.
Activism: Isabel has a long history of activism dating back to 2007, when she and fellow actress Hayden Panettiere joined activists on surfboards to try to stop a pod of dolphins being slaughtered in Japan
Last year, Isabel made headlines when she shared dangerous anti-vaccination views on Instagram, while commenting on a post by fellow conspiracy theorist Pete Evans.
She threw her support behind the disgraced former MKR judge, writing: ‘Freedom of choice is a human right. I don’t trust the way of vaccination.’
Anti-vaxxers spread conspiracy theories with no scientific basis.
Isabel has a long history of activism dating back to 2007, when she and fellow actress Hayden Panettiere joined surfboard activists to try to stop a pod of dolphins being slaughtered in Japan.
The coronavirus vaccine is an essential measure being taken to protect the community from the spread of the virus.
Covid-19 can cause serious illness, ongoing health problems and even death.
Slammed: Last year, Isabel made headlines when she shared dangerous anti-vaccination views on Instagram, while commenting on a post from fellow conspiracy theorist Pete Evans