In the aftermath of Bob Saget's death, Telegram and Facebook users seized on the opportunity to proliferate conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines. Saget, a comedian and a former star of Full House and The Aristocrats, was found unresponsive in Orlando, Florida, on January 9 and the cause of his death is yet unknown.
The narratives speculating about the vaccines and Saget’s death started on Telegram and are making their way to public and private Facebook groups.
At this point, we’re all familiar with the process: Someone beloved passes away, and even before the cause of death is determined, anti-vaccine trolls flood social media with posts blaming the death on COVID-19 vaccines.
For the record, Saget was a strong champion of vaccinations, even delving into a long conversation with CBS contributor Dr. Jon LaPook about vaccines and vaccine hesitancy.
Media Matters has identified posts in numerous Facebook groups pushing these conspiracy theories, with no apparent content moderation. This one captured the bizarre subtext that all recent celebrity deaths must be because of the vaccine:
Far-right Telegram channels similarly attacked Saget over vaccines, in some cases explicitly and in other cases by juxtaposing Saget’s commentary on vaccines with the news of his death: