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TikTok tips on faking positive Covid tests to get out of school viewed millions of times

Teenagers have been sharing videos on how substances found at home to deliver positive results on lateral flow Covid tests

Celine Wadhera
Thursday 01 July 2021 09:44 BST
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Videos on TikTok sharing tips and tricks for faking positive results on lateral flow Covid tests
Videos on TikTok sharing tips and tricks for faking positive results on lateral flow Covid tests (Screengrab TikTok)

Videos circulating on TikTok that show British teenagers sharing tips and tricks for faking positive Covid tests to get out of school have been viewed millions of times.

The clips show teens applying everyday substances – including apple sauce, Coca-Cola, vinegar, hand sanitiser, kiwi fruit, strawberries and ketchup – to lateral flow tests, with some turning up positive results.

Videos uploaded and shared with the #fakecovidtest hashtag have been viewed more than 6.5 million times, while the now-deactivated account @fakecovidtests gained more than 20,000 followers.

The videos went viral as nearly 400,000 children and young people missed school for Covid-related reasons within the past week amid a spike in positive cases across the country.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders told i News that it was only a “very small minority” of students misusing the tests but cautioned parents to ensure their children were testing correctly.

He said: “We would urge parents to ensure that tests are not being misused, and we would suggest to pupils who are interested in chemical reactions that the best place to learn about them is in chemistry lessons in school”.

Fact-checking website Full Fact said the supposed fake positive results were actually the result of lateral flow tests being broken by the acidic substances being placed on the test sample area.

The positive results do not mean that the foods contain coronavirus, or that the tests were unreliable when used correctly on humans, the website said.

“Lateral flow tests are very unlikely to give a false positive result if used correctly,” Full Fact added.

A TikTok spokesperson said: “Our community guidelines make clear that we remove content which includes misleading information that causes harm, including medical misinformation related to Covid-19, and anti-vaccination disinformation more broadly.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have worked to provide our community with access to trusted information, and through our partnership with Team Halo, scientists from all over the world have shared how vaccinations are created and tested for safety.”

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