Bill Gates hits back at "crazy" and "evil" conspiracy theories posted about him on social media
Formerly the world's richest man, Gates has responded to the trolls.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has hit back at the "crazy" and "evil" conspiracy theories posted about him on social media.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the philanthropist has been the subject of spurious claims falsely accusing him of sinister involvement in the handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
Gates has invested $1.75 billion (€1.44 billion) towards the global fight against coronavirus, which includes support for some vaccine manufacturers.
Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates says he has been taken aback by the volume of ‘crazy’ and ‘evil’ conspiracy theories about him spreading on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic https://t.co/gFNZw9r7kp pic.twitter.com/nP1AhSl0xp
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 27, 2021
In a video posted by Reuters, Gates said the conspiracies likely spread due to a combination of a global pandemic and the growing influence of social media.
"The presence of social media plus a pandemic is a combination that's never been tried before.
"Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr. Fauci would be so prominent in evil theories about 'Did we create the pandemic?' or 'Are we trying to profit from it?'"
Gates said he was surprised by the number of false claims posted online about him and Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert currently serving as Chief Medical Adviser to the US President.
"There are millions of messages out there where my name or Dr. Fauci's name is used. But do people really believe that stuff?"
On the issue of social media conspiracy theories, Gates said social media giants should do more to curb false claims made online. He said he is willing to work alongside the biggest digital platforms.
"We're gonna have to get educated about this over the next year and understand how it changes people's behaviour, how we should have minimised this."
He then praised some of President Biden's early work in office.
"The fact that he took that rescission of the global vaccine money is super-important. The fact he rejoined the WHO, the fact he's appointed smart people. The fact that Dr. Fauci will not be suppressed.
"They'll take full advantage of Francis Collins and Dr. Fauci, who are wonderful people. In terms of the epidemic, it sometimes felt like they were the only sane people in the US Government."