A tweet claims to show a news report indicating that the COVID-19 vaccine apparently enlarges the penis.
The tweet contains an image that appears to be a screenshot from a live TV broadcast, with a photo showing medicine being administered through an injection, a news ticker that reads: “COVID Vaccine Enlarges Penis!”, “Studies show an average length increase by 23%”. The image also entails a web address- breakyourownnews.com.
Vaccine-related reports have been on the rise lately, as countries began administering COVID-19 vaccines after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine became the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the World Health Organization. The UK became the first country to use the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
At the same time, misinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines has been rife as Piga Firimbi previously found and checked claims such as the false advice that doctors are recommending vaccine injections on the penis, a misleading notice saying that people could start dying after taking the vaccines and misleading claims based on an image of a Remdesivir medicine that was alleged to be a COVID-19 vaccine specifically made for Africans.
A Google image reverse search reveals that the image attached to the tweet has previously featured on various news articles, including one on The New York Times. It, however, does not contain the claims regarding COVID-19 vaccines leading to penis enlargement.
There are about ten different types of COVID-19 vaccines currently being administered in various countries according to The New York Times COVID-19 vaccines tracker.
The tweet does not specify which particular vaccine(s) would lead to the said penis enlargement. No media or medical report mentions this effect.
For an image purporting to have come from a live news broadcast, it does not indicate what media channel aired the alleged news, which is uncharacteristic of any legitimate TV station.
Upon following the breakyouroennews.com web address, Piga Firimbi found that the image was created on a meme-generating tool. The ‘Break Your Own News’ tool enables its users to attach images and text on a template that imitates the appearance of breaking news on a live broadcast. The template design from ‘Break Your Own News’ as shown below is the one used on the image attached in the tweet.
Information on the ‘Break Your Own News’ website warns users that the tool should not be used to create “unlawful, defamatory or likely to cause distress” as it is only meant for “fun, humour and parody”.
The use of such tools to generate and spread fake news has previously been checked by Piga Firimbi in false claims such as President Uhuru Kenyatta declaring a total lockdown on February 14 as well as a fake image purporting to come from CNN, declaring Ghana’s new president during the 2020 elections. It is advisable to first check with the mentioned media outlet’s website or social media accounts. Legitimate breaking news is often published and reported across different news outlets.
The image claiming to show a news broadcast indicating that a COVID-19 vaccine enlarges the penis is FAKE.