Fact Check

WEF's Klaus Schwab Called Musk a 'Dangerous Extremist Fuse on the Internet'?

The chairman of the World Economic Forum has been the subject of many conspiracy theories.

Published Oct. 4, 2023

 (Screenshot via Twitter)
Image courtesy of Screenshot via Twitter
World Economic Forum Chairman Klaus Schwab called Elon Musk a “dangerous extremist fuse on the internet.”

Schwab was not referring to Musk while he was speaking to young people about the launch of the “Davos Lab: Youth Recovery Plan” after the pandemic. His words were also misrepresented likely as a result of his accent. He was praising youths, saying “[...] you want to combat dangerous extremist views in the internet.”

Klaus Schwab, the chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), allegedly called tech giant Elon Musk a "dangerous extremist fuse on the internet," according to a post on X on Oct. 3, 2023. 

This is false and was not what the German-speaking Schwab said. He didn't even mention Musk in entire clip, and the post misrepresents his words likely as a result of his accent.

The clip was taken from an Aug. 17, 2021, speech in which Schwab discusses the launch of the "Davos Lab: Youth Recovery Plan" to help communities after the pandemic, as part of his "Global Shapers" initiative. The Global Shapers Community, according to its website, "is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional, and global challenges."

Schwab begins the speech by addressing how young people continue to organize to seek solutions to global challenges. He addressed young people directly and praised their efforts when he said (emphasis, ours): "You are presenting new ways to minimize the spread of misinformation, and you want to combat dangerous extremist views in the internet."

The moment in question occurs at the 8:10 mark in the video posted on the Global Shapers Community YouTube page:

Schwab and the WEF have long been the subject of false rumors. The WEF, as we have reported in the past, is an influential, international, non-governmental organization known for fostering private-public partnerships around  economy, international development, and more. The organization, which Schwab founded in 1971, is the target of many conspiracy theories surrounding its real-life ties to elite networks that online rumor-mongers believe are nefariously planning to create totalitarian regimes.

Given that Musk is not mentioned at all in the above video, and that the tweet misrepresents Schwab's words, we rate this claim as "False."


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"Davos Lab: Youth Recovery Plan Launch." Global Shapers, Aug. 17, 2021. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gMefIZPdss. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.