Fact check: Covid-19 conspiracy theories about "bogeyman" Bill Gates

Fact check: Covid-19 conspiracy theories about "bogeyman" Bill Gates

- Bill Gates has become the target of several conspiracy theories regarding Covid-19

- The billionaire philanthropist has become “a kind of abstract boogeyman” because of the theories

- From being behind Covid-19 to hatching a master plan to kill off 15% of the human population, we took a look at some of the theories

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Conspiracy theories about the novel coronavirus have reached millions around the world - from claims the virus was created in a lab to accusations that 5G towers caused it. There is no limit to conspiracy theories and even people who've tried to help have fallen victim to some of the accusations.

Bill Gates has become “a kind of abstract boogeyman” - according to Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor at New York’s Syracuse University.

The billionaire, who has thus far donated $250 million to efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, has been the centre of several conspiracy theorists' stories.

The Citizen reported doctored photos and fabricated news articles has cast Gates in a bad light.

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Briefly.co.za took a look at some of the Bill Gates conspiracy theories that had gone viral.

Population control

A viral video has gathered over two million views. The clip accuses Gates of wanting “to eliminate 15 percent of the population” with a vaccine.

The same video claims Gates plans on implanting people with an electronic microchip after vaccination - an accusation that has caused a stir in the Christian communities.

Exploiting the pandemic

AFP Fact Check has debunked many anti-Gates theories that had been shared on several social media platforms.

Gates has been accused of exploiting the crisis , whether it is through controlling people or financial gain through vaccines.

There were even posts claiming the tech tycoon supports a Western plot to kill of Africans by testing the 'dangerous' vaccine in Africa.

Rory Smith, research manager at First Draft, said this could result in trust issues and it could "possibly drive down vaccination rates, which is worrying".

Gates is not human

Yup, there are people who claim that the billionaire is not even a human. So what is he if not a human? Well, a lizard - of course!

The lizard theory is a fan favourite for online trolls.

He knew about the pandemic before it happened

Gates and his wife, Melinda, have been active in African countries with their charity and they've now become the targets of some bizarre claims.

A photo of Gates attending a “coronavirus conference” in 2015, surfaced shortly after the Covid-19 outbreak and people jumped to a far-fetched conclusion.

The image led to social media users believing Gates predicted the pandemic.

According to The Citizen, the real reason behind Gates' visit was to meet with a research institute that requested a patent to test a vaccine against a different type of coronavirus that affects animals.

Briefly.co.za previously reported the African Transformation Movement (ATM) has called on president Cyril Ramaphosa to convene an urgent meeting with political party leaders.

The party wants Ramaphosa to reveal what he discussed in a meeting with businessman Bill Gates.

ATM president Vuyo Zungula said they wanted to know whether the friendly tennis match earlier this year was a "smokescreen" to a serious meeting between Ramaphosa and Gates about vaccines that were to be piloted on the continent.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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