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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke January 6, 2022

Messages about employer mask requirements for Zoom meetings originated on satire accounts

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  • Recent claims that some employers are requiring remote workers to wear masks during Zoom meetings out of respect for colleagues who are afraid of unmasked people originated on satire accounts, but they’re being shared online in earnest and without context. 

Some social media users have been duped or at least confused by online images that suggest employers are requiring remote workers to wear masks on Zoom meetings.

"I am writing you all today to inform you of a new protocol for our staff zoom meetings," reads a purported email message depicted in one of the images. "Moving forward, everyone will be required to wear a mask during our meetings. One of our team members has a fear of unmasked people, and I want to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable."

"I’m fuming," an image of a tweet posted on Facebook says. "Zoom meeting this AM (Incorporating Drag in Pre-K Education). Sent memo prior to mtg: ‘Masks required, remember some folx triggered by unmasked faces.’ Despites this, two colleagues remained unmasked until *after* introductions. They apologized, but damage was done."

"The left is a neverending parade of mental illness," one person wrote in response. 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

Both the email and the tweet originated on satire accounts. 

On Dec. 30, @zactokz posted a video saying that he had received an email from his boss saying people needed to wear a mask during Zoom meetings because a colleague had a "fear of unmasked people." On Jan. 4, in response to a user asking to see the email, he posted the image now being shared on social media. But his bio notes that his posts are satire

The tweet, meanwhile, was posted by "Ann Lesby," whose Twitter bio says she is head of gender studies at "ACL Univ," apparently a satirical reference to the ACLU. Her user photo is a stock photo of a "happy mature businesswoman," according to Getty Images, and her other posts include one promoting an Etsy store for "Woke Baby products" featuring wall art that says "Antifa Baby." We couldn’t find any such store on Etsy.

We rate claims that these post are real — and not satire — False.


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Messages about employer mask requirements for Zoom meetings originated on satire accounts

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