- Former Vlog Squad member BigNik posted vaccine misinformation on TikTok.
- In the video, he says that “God gave us immune systems for a reason.”
- COVID-19 misinformation is against TikTok’s community guidelines and can result in a ban.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Former Vlog Squad member Nik Keswani, known online as BigNik, posted COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on TikTok that’s still up on the platform. In a video posted Wednesday, he said that COVID-19 is being “used by the devil to segregate the church” and that “God gave us immune systems for a reason.”
Keswani was made famous by his appearances in David Dobrik’s vlogs as part of Dobrik’s YouTuber collective known as the Vlog Squad. His TikTok account has over 1.7 million followers and consists largely of clips discussing his personal take on religion, as well as his distaste for Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO” music video.
In the recent post, Keswani said that the vaccines are not “FDA approved” but rather “authorized for emergency use” so there “is no testing procedure.” This is incorrect. All major vaccines administered to the public go through a testing trial phase before being approved for use. The Pfizer trial had 43,448 participants, half of them received the vaccine and half received placebos. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the vaccine lowered infection rates by 95 percent and “the incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups.”
While the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has been temporarily halted after six women developed blood clots after receiving the dose, the Center for Disease Control has said the decision was made out of an “abundance of caution,” citing extremely rare reports of blood clotting among the millions of people who’ve gotten the vaccine.
The clip has been watched over 200,000 times on TikTok and has over 1,400 comments discussing Keswani’s controversial opinions and the misinformation presented. In response to one viewer who wrote that they disagreed with him, he responded “that’s literally the deception. The ‘cure’ is worse than the virus.”
Another person who commented that “people are dying from this virus” received a reply saying “more people will from this.”
According to TikTok’s community guidelines, “content that’s false or misleading, including misinformation related to COVID-19 and vaccines and anti-vaccine disinformation” is prohibited on the platform and can lead to content being removed or accounts being banned. A safety blog on its website says TikTok has implemented a “specially trained” team of moderators targeting COVID-19 misinformation and works with “industry-leading threat detection platforms to identify networks and suspicious activity.”
Keswani is a devout Christian who stopped appearing in Dobrik’s Vlog Squad videos in 2018. He has said he left of his own accord after being bullied by other members.
“It is kind of like a cult,” Keswani told Insider in a February interview. “I would come home so drained, just like mentally.”
Since leaving the group, his content has focused entirely on spreading the word of gospel and promoting his own rap music.
TikTok and Keswani were both contacted for comment, but did not respond by the time of publication.
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