A viral screenshot appears to show a 2021 tweet from billionaire Bill Gates and claims that Gates was poking fun in the tweet at conspiracy theories about his supposedly using the coronavirus pandemic as a cover to implant trackable microchips in the world's population.
The screenshot, which spread on Reddit in August 2023, purported to show a tweet from Gates' official account on the platform that has been rebranded as X which stated: "The tracking chip was in the MAGA flags. That [sic] how we have been rounding up the 6th Protesters so quickly."
The caption accompanying the screenshot stated, "At least Bill Gates has a sense of humor about it!"
(Screenshot via RedditB)
This screenshot is fake. Gates never tweeted this, although his Twitter account has occasionally poked fun at the same conspiracy theory about secretly implanting microchips in people in the past.
Our first indication that the screenshot was fake emerged from the grammatical and spelling errors in the screenshot. Phrases like "That how" and "6th Protesters" indicated that this would not come from the official account of Gates, who otherwise has a very carefully managed profile with little to no spelling errors that we have encountered.
Secondly, just below the tweet, blue text states "Twitter for elites" indicating that this screenshot itself is a joke poking fun at Gates.
We also looked through Gates' Twitter account. All tweets prior to Feb. 17, 2021 had been deleted. We then looked through his account, which has been archived on PolitiTweet's database, and noted that he did not tweet on Jan. 23, 2021. One tweet had been deleted on Jan. 22, 2021, for a typo, but it was about American leadership on climate change, which had nothing to do with the microchips joke.
Furthermore, had Gates actually tweeted such a joke, it would have been headline news and analyzed by both his critics and his fans, given his high profile.
The fake tweet referred to a long-running conspiracy theory claiming that through his work at the Gates Foundation, the billionaire used the pandemic as a cover to implant trackable microchips in populations across the world by vaccinating them. We have fact-checked variations of this theory many times.
In June 2022, Gates even joked about the theory in response to a joke from "The Daily Show's" official Twitter account:
I guess we finally ran out of microchips. https://t.co/dptfYIGl4k
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) June 15, 2022
Given that the above screenshot was clearly fabricated, and we found no evidence in Gates' archived Twitter account that he posted such a tweet, we rate this claim as False.