Fact Check

Is a Company Requiring Masks for Zoom Meetings?

A fear of masks often manifests in one's inability to recognize satire.

Published Jan 7, 2022

 (Zactokz / TikTok)
Image Via Zactokz / TikTok
A company sent out a memo informing employees that they would be required to wear face masks during Zoom calls.

In January 2022, a screenshot supposedly showing a company "Zoom meeting protocol" email informing employees that they would be required to wear face masks during Zoom calls to protect against COVID-19 was widely circulated on social media:

This is not a genuine email from a real company informing employees to wear masks on zoom calls. This text originated with a satirical TikTok account.

The full text reads:

Team, I am writing you all today to inform you of a new protocol for our staff zoom meetings. 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. This requirement is effective immediately.

A few days before this fake email went viral, the TikTok account @zactokz posted a video claiming that their company was enacting a new policy that would require face masks during Zoom calls. The @zaktoz account is for entertainment purposes and labels its content as "satire":

As this video went viral — with more than 1.4 million views — many people commented, questioning the authenticity of this story. A few days later, @zactokz posted supposed "proof" of this policy by sharing a second video that included the "Zoom meeting protocol" email:

This, of course, is not "proof" of this policy. This was just a continuation of a joke.

A few more installments about this fictional fiasco have appeared on @zaktokz, including the employees' purported response to their boss in which they suggest that anyone afraid of masks could just close their eyes during Zoom calls, and the purported response from their boss in which that suggestion is actually taken under consideration.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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