VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video FALSELY claims Thai livestreamer died from vaccine

A video showing a Thai vlogger collapsing while doing a live stream is being shared this month with the false headline, “Vaxxed cooking teacher drops dead live on stream graphic warning.” This is not true.

Nueng Pimporn, who had a large following online, died after suffering an acute heart attack due to an enlarged heart, according to a May 26 post by her family on her FB account. She had not yet received any vaccine at the time, they added.

The post with the erroneous headline was uploaded on July 7 by an account named InspiringMinds on the video hosting site BitChute. The platform, an alternative to YouTube, has attracted far-right actors, according to one study.

Disinformation that wrongly connected Pimporn’s death last May to vaccination had surfaced earlier in Thailand, and was debunked that same month by fact-checking organization Sure and Share Center of Thai News Agency MCOT.

VERA Files Fact Check reached out to the Bangkok-based organization to help verify the claim in the video. Several international news reports also said the woman suffered a heart attack and was pronounced dead at the hospital where she was taken. None made mention of vaccination.

A relative of the social media personality, in a separate FB post on May 22 asked the public not to share video clips or images carrying misinformation on the death of the vlogger, saying the family was still struggling to cope with Pimporn’s passing.

The original livestream that showed the woman collapsing is no longer available for public viewing on YouTube.

According to FB’s monitoring tool, the link to the false BitChute post has been viewed over 20,000 times on FB, and largely circulated in the Philippines and the United States. Social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle estimated that the post could have reached 12,028 FB users.

The video surfaced the same day the Department of Health reported that only about 30% of older Filipinos (aged 60 and up) have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, citing misinformation as a problem causing vaccine hesitancy.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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