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Oil companies are paying popular influencers to pump their gas on social media, sparking a backlash from some climate-conscious fans for promoting planet-warming fossil fuels among young people.

Young online celebrities best known for posting about video games, their dogs or their holidays to millions of followers are also dropping in unexpected plugs for gasoline stations, fuel rewards and club cards.

AFP found cases of such spots in India, Mexico, South Africa and the United States that promoted major oil firms such as BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and TotalEnergies on platforms including Instagram, TikTok and Twitch.

"Come with me to get some snacks at my family Shell gas station," says one TikTok influencer, dubbed The Petrol Princess, who usually models wigs for her 2.7 million followers.

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