An ex-Google employee was behind an online campaign to make a coronavirus conspiracy video go viral

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  • Vice reported Thursday on a video from April, showing a former Google employee named Zach Vorhies, detailing a campaign to send the “Plandemic” video viral.
  • In the video, Vorhies said he ran the social media accounts for Judy Mikovits, the discredited scientist who appeared in the “Plandemic” video seen by millions across social platforms.
  • In the past, Vorhies has worked with right-wing activist group Project Veritas, and has tweeted about QAnon and other conspiracy theories.
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A recently discovered YouTube video from an ex-Google employee shows he’s been crafting a campaign since April to make the “Plandemic” video go viral, which included running the social media accounts of Judy Mikovits.

The unlisted YouTube video, uncovered by Vice’s Anna Merlan, shows Zach Vorhies telling the camera about his plan to promote claims made by Mikovits, the discredited scientist who was the star of the 26-minute documentary-style video that went viral last week on YouTube, Facebook and other platforms. Vorhies’ video, posted on April 19, appeared more than two weeks before the “Plandemic” video was first posted online.

This video is just one part of the actions Vorhies took in April to plant the seeds ahead of the “Plandemic” video’s debut on May 4. The video, which garnered millions of views, forwarded widely debunked coronavirus claims about social distancing making people more susceptible to get sick and the virus being man-made so vaccine manufacturers could profit. Despite Facebook and social platforms’ efforts to ban the video and deal with other types of harmful content, misinformation has continued to flow freely online.

The same day he posted his YouTube video, Vorhies launched a GoFundMe campaign titled “Help me amplify Pharma Whistleblower Judy Mikovits,” according to The New York Times. A day earlier, a newly created Twitter account for Mikovits posted its first tweet, since deleted, to thank Vorhies “for helping me get on Twitter!”

Both the GoFundMe page has also been deleted. The crowdfunding platform told the Times that Vorhies’ fundraiser violated its policies on “campaigns that are fraudulent, misleading, inaccurate, dishonest, or impossible.”

Both Vorhies and Mikovits were already known in conspiracy theory circles prior to this month. Mikovits has made a name for herself for speaking out against vaccinations, and published a book in April called “Plague of Corruption.” Since her viral stardom, the book has sold out on Amazon.

Vorhies, a former software engineer at YouTube, is a self-proclaimed “whistleblower” who made headlines in 2019 for an interview with right-wing activist group Project Veritas where he alleged Google had an anti-conservative bias. He provided the group with over 900 pages of internal documents on Google’s search algorithms as evidence.

On Twitter, Vorhies posts about a trove of conspiracy theories regarding Pizzagate and vaccines’ links to autism, as well as anti-Semitic and white supremacist claims. Recently, he’s focused in on posts supporting the fringe conspiracy theory QAnon.