What was claimed
A woman shown in a video eating a worm is an adviser to the World Economic Forum named Hilda Ettsevorm.
|False. The woman is not an adviser to the World Economic Forum and her name is not Hilda Ettsevorm. She is a Canadian woman named Erin Clark.|
By Ellen McCutchan
A years-old video featuring footage of a woman eating a worm has been reshared dozens of times on social media this week, with claims that she is an adviser to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
In the video, a woman spots a worm and remarks "the first worm of the summer!", before slurping up the wriggling creature off the ground. (You can view the video here, if you're game.)
In reposts of the clip uploaded to social media platforms this week, users wrote: "No, this is not an escaped patient of a mental hospital, this is Hilda Ettsevorm, adviser to the World Economic Forum."
But no person called Hilda Ettsevorm advises the WEF.
RMIT FactLab found a Google search of the name "Hilda Ettsevorm" did not produce any result that pre-dated this week, nor is there any reference to the name on the WEF website.
In an email, a spokesman for the WEF confirmed it had "no adviser of this name".
"This is made up in order to discredit the important work that the World Economic Forum does on serious global challenges," the spokesman added.
In fact, the clip features a Canadian woman named Erin Clark, who appears to have first uploaded the video to TikTok in early 2021, where its shocking nature resulted in it quickly going viral.
While the original clip no longer exists on TikTok (likely due to Ms Clark's account being banned) it remains live on her Instagram page, where it was posted on April 24, 2021.
So why have social media users linked the video to the WEF?
A suggestion that the WEF is part of a global agenda to force people to "eat bugs" has taken hold in fringe online circles in recent years and been promoted in the mainstream media by popular figures such as the recently ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Proponents of the theory point to a number of opinion articles published by the WEF that argue that the meat industry fuels climate change and that insects are an overlooked – and greener – source of protein.
"Our consumption of animal protein is the source of greenhouse gas and climate change," one such article notes. "Insects are an overlooked source of protein and a way to battle climate change."
Importantly, however, there's no evidence the forum wants to force a bug-fuelled diet onto populations.
Indeed, the article acknowledges that many people are "not quite ready to eat an insect" but suggests that bugs could be introduced at other points in the food chain, such as in chicken feed and pet food.
Insinuations about the WEF's stance on insects-as-food tie into the sprawling and amorphous "Great Reset" conspiracy.
That theory has been described by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) as "not so much a single conspiracy theory as a loose grouping of conspiracy theories which differ in their details and are adapted to their time and context".
"The core theme, however, is that [WEF chairperson Klaus] Schwab and the WEF are acting as a Machiavellian hidden hand orchestrating COVID-19 lockdowns and other public health measures in order to achieve their own sinister goals," ISD explained last year in an article produced in partnership with RMIT FactLab.
An article published by America’s NPR last month noted that the aversion to eating insects in countries where they are not a traditional part of the diet had "fused" with the Great Reset theory.
"For those who espouse the theory, eating bugs isn't just a matter of disgust or questioning the impacts of climate change," NPR reported. "It's framed as a matter of individual freedom and government control."
False. The video of a woman eating a worm shows a Canadian TikTok user named Erin Clark, not someone by the name of Hilda Ettsevorm. The World Economic Forum confirmed that no person by that name acted as an adviser.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.