A video clip showing a contentious exchange between an interviewer and Microsoft Corp. co-founder, philanthropist and COVID-19 vaccine advocate Bill Gates is drawing attention on social media — but it’s not what it seems.
After accusing Gates of “basically” stealing the Microsoft operating system from a co-collaborator, the interviewer says in the clip, “You have been a major spokesperson for COVID vaccines during the pandemic.”
Gates answers: “Yes.”
“What exactly makes you — a computer engineer who didn’t even program his initial product himself — a valid representative of the pharmaceutical industry?” the interviewer asks.
“I have read a lot of books about that topic … and met with specialists from the field all over the world,” Gates says.
“Mr. Gates, with all due respect, how do you feel about it now, now that it’s becoming more and more evident that the medication you were promoting whilst heavily invested in it yourself thus making billions of it — “
“This is not how the world works,” Gates says.
“… has caused countless injuries, side effects and death,” the interviewer continues.
“That’s a very immature way of looking at it, quite frankly,” Gates says.
“So, here’s my final question to you, ‘Is this a behavioral pattern?’”
“What do you mean, exactly?”
“Taking technology from other people that you don’t understand, selling a product full of bugs, causing massive damage.”
An Instagram post sharing this clip was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
This video was altered. It takes footage from a Jan. 30 interview on ABC News in Australia. In the original video, the interviewer, Sarah Ferguson, sounds unlike her apparent voice in the doctored video.
The exchange in the Instagram post doesn’t appear in the interview. Ferguson begins by asking Gates about climate change and then pivots to pandemics, asking whether the next one is “as urgent now as the threat from climate change.”
She later discusses a conspiracy theory that emerged during the pandemic that Gates was using the vaccine rollout to “insert chips” in people, among other rumors, and asks Gates about disinformation.
Other news organizations reported on Ferguson asking whether Gates regretted his relationship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He said he “shouldn’t have had dinners” with him.
We rate claims that the interview exchange in the Instagram post is authentic False.