Bill Gates is now top target of coronavirus conspiracy theories, says report

Conspiracy theories linking Bill Gates with the virus were mentioned about 1.2 million times on TV and social media


Tech Desk April 18, 2020
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks during a discussion on innovation hosted by Reuters in Washington, US, April 18, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Bill Gates is the new target for coronavirus misinformation according to Zignal Labs, a company that analyses media sources.

This is while social media is still combatting the conspiracy theory that links 5G mobile telecommunications masts to the spread of coronavirus, which has been dismissed as false by politicians and medical professionals.

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Conspiracy theories linking Gates with the virus were mentioned about 1.2 million times on TV and social media from February to April.

This is 33% more often than the 2nd most popular conspiracy theory linking 5G with Covid-19, spiking at 18,000 mentions a day in April, according to data.

Facebook and Twitter are flooded with Gates-coronavirus posts, The New York Times found 16,000 posts on Facebook this year that were liked and commented on nearly 900,000 times.

 


Youtube videos with false information about Gates and the virus were viewed almost five million times in March and April.

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One thing that struck a chord with people was Bill Gates's speech from 2015, in which he warns that the biggest threat to mankind is infectious disease and not nuclear war this interview was viewed over 25 million times.

Anti-vaxxers, right-wing pundits, and members of the conspiracy group QAnon video is evidence of Gates’ plans to use a pandemic for his personal gains, suggests The New York Times.

“Distressing that there are people spreading misinformation when we should all be looking for ways to collaborate and save lives,” said Mark Suzman, chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates has also been in the news for openly criticising the Trump administration saying “There’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus.”

This article originally published on The Verge.