The billionaire philanthropist was an avid Twitter user until recently.
Bill Gates tweets again.
After an article by TheStreet reporting that the Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Free Report co-founder hadn't been on Twitter since November 19, the billionaire posted a few messages.
This seems to be a way for the philanthropist to indicate without doubt that he was not boycotting the platform, which has been purchased since October 27 by Elon Musk, with whom Gates has been in conflict for several months.
Since TheStreet's article, Gates has tweeted and retweeted a total of four posts, including two on December 14, one on December 16, and another on December 20.
No Post Since December 20
On December 14, the philanthropist retweeted an Associated Press article about the nuclear fusion feats.
The same day, he also retweeted an announcement from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation extolling the merits of a new tool against malaria.
“You don’t need to be a big soccer fan to recognize why it’s called 'the beautiful game',” Gates posted on December 16.
The post also linked to a blog post the philanthropist had written about the positive impact soccer was having outside of soccer stadiums. Gates focuses on a non-profit organization called Grassroot Soccer.
The message also came two days before the World Cup final in Qatar.
Four days later, Gates posted a message outlining his thoughts about the year ahead.
“I am in awe of people who have dedicated their lives to making the world a more equitable place, and I feel lucky to be able to support their efforts,” the billionaire said with a link to his blog post titled “The future our grandchildren deserve.”
He has not posted a message since December 20.
Conspiracies and Misinformation
TheStreet pointed out in its article that Gates, who had been a frequent Twitter user, was now a little less present on the platform. The philanthropist was, until recently, an avid user of the social network, regularly publishing his humanitarian efforts, in particular the fights against malaria and polio.
He has also often used Twitter to shine a spotlight on innovations that can improve people's health worldwide. His last tweet, which dates to November 19, is about smart toilets.
Since that tweet, Gates had not appeared on Twitter, which was surprising, given his activity on the platform. Until November 19, the philanthropist tweeted almost every day and sometimes several times a day.
Gates's temporary silence on Twitter coincided with the network's decision to remove safeguards to limit the spread of misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the covid-19 misleading-information policy,” the company said on its transparency page.
The announcement suggested that accounts spreading false information about the pandemic would not be penalized.
The microblogging website didn't explain why it made this major U-turn.
“Since introducing our covid-19 guidance last year, we have challenged 11.72 million accounts, suspended 11,230 accounts and removed over 97,674 content worldwide as of September 2022,” the company said.
There has been a feud between Gates and Musk since May, after Musk learned that Gates had bet on a drop in Tesla's stock price, a short bet.
At the time, Gates expressed concerns about the changes Musk would make to Twitter once he took ownership.
“Do you have any advice for Elon Musk as he buys Twitter of what he should do?” Gates was asked at The Wall Street Journal's CEO Summit on May 4.
“He actually could make it worse,” Gates responded. “That's not his track record. I mean, his track record with Tesla and SpaceX is pretty mind blowing at putting together a great team of engineers and … taking the people who worked in those fields in a less bold way, and really showing them up.”
“I kind of doubt that will happen this time, but we should have an open mind and never underestimate Elon.”
From the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of conspiracy messages have spread across the internet, fueling misinformation about the coronavirus, its origins and the motivations of those working to combat it.
Gates had pledged to support vaccine makers and dedicate at least $1.75 billion to the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The philanthropist then became the target of falsehoods and fantasies.
For some conspiracy theorists, Gates launched the pandemic, planned to vaccinate the world's population, and even organized a health genocide and a general reduction of Earth's inhabitants.