A new online petition calling on Facebook to ban anti-vaxxer influencers on Instagram has been launched.
‘These “wellness influencers” are dangerous and selfish,’ reads the petition.
Dangerous advice: The Change.org petition has called out NRL WAG Taylor Winterstein (right) and YouTuber Anna-Rose Richards (left) in particular for their scientifically debunked advice
The influencers ‘use their large social media platforms on Instagram to encourage their followers to reject mask wearing, ignore medical advice from health care professionals, use unproved Covid “cures” like Ivermectin and encourage natural immunity.’
The petition continues, ‘They financially profit from the mistrust and falsehoods they share by increasing their audience and secure brand endorsements as they weaponise mental health and push their damaging rhetoric to tens of thousands of followers.’
‘They are anti-science and share information connected to far-right extremist movements veiled by wellness and spirituality messages.’
At the time of writing, the petition had nearly 6000 signatures in 48 hours.
Uneducated: The influencers ‘use their large social media platforms on Instagram to encourage their followers to reject mask wearing, ignore medical advice from health care professionals’
Calling on the Facebook-owned Instagram to ‘remove their platforms,’ the petition says that ‘so many of us have reported their accounts and posts to Instagram on multiple occasions but our requests have been ignored.’
Footy WAG and influencer Winterstein became the face of the anti-vaccination movement after she revealed in 2019 she would not immunise the children she shares with former Penrith Panthers player Frank Winterstein.
She and Frank are no strangers to promoting misinformation about health on social media, often sharing bizarre posts questioning the existence of Covid-19, the safety of vaccines and slamming lockdown restrictions.
Definitely not doctors: Formers Wests Tigers club receptionist Taylor pictured with her former NRL player husband Frank, both of whom offer medical advice online
The formers Wests Tigers club receptionist was also an ambassador for the anti-vaccination film Vaxxed, and runs workshops about the so-called ‘dangers’ of vaccinations and scientific medical research.
Last year, Taylor controversially claimed that the government’s decision to lockdown the nation was not to ‘help the healthcare workers’ as advertised, but was an attempt to ‘manipulate the masses’ and ‘use this PLANdemic to justify fast-tracked vaccines and vaccine mandates.
Although absolutely none of her claims are scientifically proven, Taylor insisted that she had ‘collected the crucial information needed to help break the coronavirus ‘scam-demic.’
Covidiot: Winterstein became the face of the anti-vaccination movement after she revealed in 2019 she would not immunise her children
Meanwhile podcaster Anna-Rose Richards counts actress Isabel Lucas among her fans.
Last month, the Australian star reacted to Anna’s shameful video claiming a student died from a Covid-19 vaccine he never actually received.
St Pius X College student Tom Van Dijk, 17, died at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest during a swim with his family on August 21.
Podcaster Anna Richards falsely claimed the champion swimmer and musician died shortly after receiving a dose of Pfizer vaccine in a video on Instagram.
False: Anti-vaxxer Isabel Lucas (pictured) has thanked podcaster Anna Richards for posting a shameful video linking tragic death of student, 17, to a Covid jab he didn’t even get
‘What Australia is seemingly find doing to our kids,’ she captioned the post.
Former Home and Away star Isabel responded to the shameful video by commenting on the post: ‘Thank you’.
‘Always sending you love,’ Anna replied.
False reports have circulated online claiming Van Dijk died shortly after receiving a dose of Pfizer vaccine.
However, the Chatswood school’s 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 and sorrow, but there is a lot of misinformation that needs to stop.’
Mr Couani said other rumours on social media that the school pressured students to get vaccinated against the virus were overwhelming and ‘horrific’.
‘The school did not force students to be vaccinated… the school is not in a hotspot or local government area of concern… we’ve made no statement calling for vaccinations of students,’ he said.
Response: Isabel responded to the shameful video by commenting on the post: ‘Thank you’
One bizarre post on Facebook falsely claimed a ‘suppression order’ was preventing the school or the media from identifying the teenager.
Another post incorrectly stated the 17-year-old died ‘shortly after’ receiving a jab of the Pfizer vaccine at western Sydney’s Homebush mass vaccination centre.
Mr Couani described Tom in a letter sent to the wider school community as an ‘incredible young man who was loved by all’..
‘He helped others, was a friend to everyone in Year 12 and had some many 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 grades who would know Tom, and all will attest to his strong but gentle nature and the care he gave to younger student.’
He said the teenager had told his parents before his death 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 and 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.
Throwing her support behind the disgraced former MKR judge, she wrote: ‘Freedom of choice is every human’s right. I don’t trust the path of vaccination.’
Anti-vaxxers spread conspiracy theories with no basis in scientific fact.
Isabel has a long history of activism dating back to 2007, when she and fellow actress Hayden Panettiere joined activists on surfboards to try and stop a pod of dolphins being slaughtered in Japan.
The coronavirus vaccine is a vital 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 hit the headlines when she shared dangerous anti-vaccination views on Instagram, while commenting on a post by fellow conspiracy theorist Pete Evans