South Korean influencer had suspected epileptic seizure, did not 'die during livestream'

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A video of a man collapsing has been viewed millions of times in social media posts that falsely claim it shows a South Korean who died during a livestream. The person in the video -- South Korean influencer Park Jung-kyu -- did not die. He told his audience in a later livestream that he had fainted due to fatigue. Park has since posted that doctors suspect he suffered an epileptic seizure, and he planned to resume his live broadcasts soon.

"South Korean streamer dies suddenly during a broadcast," reads a Korean-language Facebook post shared here on November 28, 2022.

The post includes a 28-second screen recording of a video shared in an English-language tweet.

The clip, which has been viewed more than 300 times in the Facebook post, shows four people talking before the person on the left begins to turn around and collapse.

"Korean live streamer DIES SUDDENLY during the show," reads the English-language tweet. "He's the young guy on the left. Watch what happens before the fall... look at how he's searching for something."

At the videos' 15-second mark, a link to a Telegram channel that circulates anti-vaccine claims briefly appears on screen.

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, captured on December 2, 2022

The use of the phrase "dies suddenly" appears to be a reference to a depopulation conspiracy that falsely links sudden deaths to the Covid-19 vaccine. AFP has previously debunked the claim, alongside others, that appeared in the November 2022 film "Died Suddenly".

The clip has been viewed more than 1,100 times after it was also shared on Facebook here.

It was also shared in similar English posts on Twitter here and here, and on YouTube here and here -- racking up more than 5.3 million views.

But the clip does not show anyone dying.

Suspected epileptic seizure

A reverse image search on Google led to a YouTube video posted on November 27, 2022, with a Korean-language title: "K has a seizure".

"K" is the name that South Korean influencer Park Jung-kyu uses on the livestreaming platform AfreecaTV.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading Facebook post (left) and the genuine YouTube footage (right):

Screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading Facebook post (left) and the genuine YouTube footage (right)

One video posted on his AfreecaTV page on November 27, 2022, shows Park telling his audience that he collapsed during a livestream hosted by Yeom Bo-sung -- another influencer -- earlier in the day.

Both Park and Yeom appear in the video.

Screenshot from a video posted to Park’s AfreecaTV account, showing Park (left) and Yeom (right) discussing the former’s collapse earlier in the day

"After I greeted the two women [seen in the video], I suddenly felt completely drunk before [falling over], though I didn't drink any alcohol," Park says in the video.

He goes on to explain he had felt extremely fatigued, and had not slept the previous two nights. Park apologises to his fans for worrying them, adding that he had experienced similar collapses "several times before".

Both Park and Yeom appear to be wearing the same clothes they were wearing during the livestream in which Park collapsed.

In an update posted on his account on the same day, Park again apologises to his fans and says he would "return to [broadcasting] in a healthier state" after a hospital visit.

Park posted another update on December 4, 2022, saying doctors suspect he may have an epileptic seizure.

He adds that he plans to resume live broadcasts in the following week.