With a total of 3,000 employees, billionaire and vaccination fanatic Bill Gates wants to fight “misinformation” about vaccines in social media in the future. He also sharply criticizes the new Twitter owner Elon Musk.
If you discuss vaccines in Facebook groups or on Twitter in the future, you might come across a Bill Gates-paid social media unit dedicated to fighting “vaccine misinformation.” These employees are said to be “spreading messages” and “helping to disseminate correct vaccine information in the future”., reports the US television network CNBC. Gates wants social media to be a place with “good messages” from “trustworthy people in the community, like political and ethnic leaders.”
The statements came from Gates when asked about Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, as well as the future of free speech and expression on the social media platform. After all, the Tesla founder has announced that he wants to put an end to the censorship of critical posts on Twitter. The Microsoft founder, on the other hand, advocates extensive censorship, particularly when it comes to matters where he (mistakenly) sees himself as the supreme moral (or medical) authority.
One of the reasons Gates thinks Musk could make Twitter worse is the SpaceX CEO’s stance on free speech and expression. “What does he think of something [auf Twitter]that says ‘vaccines kill people’ or that ‘Bill Gates goes after people?’” Gates asked. “What are its goals for what it is in the end? Does that fit with this idea that less extreme untruths spread so quickly [und] weird conspiracy theories? Does he share that goal or not?” Gates said. Musk said from the start that his critics should stay on the platform and that he would not let their opinions be restricted.
Gates believes that social media platforms must play a role in preventing misinformation from spreading. “If you don’t have trusted leaders to speak out on vaccines, it’s pretty hard for the platform to work against,” he admitted. “So I think we have a leadership problem and a platform problem.” The billionaire also emphasized: “Getting these platforms to spread the truth and not crazy stuff takes some real invention.” Ultimately, that means more “artificial intelligence” and probably significantly more censorship.
For people like Bill Gates, censoring unwelcome views and opinions is easier than proper discourse, in which all sides present their views, facts, and evidence, and then debate on that basis. Instead, they rely on so-called “fact checkers”, who in turn only present their views (and sell them as “truth”) and then “downgrade” articles marked with contrary opinions and statements. So the question facing Gates’ new social media team is: will these individuals act as mere “impfluencers” – or rather as “fact-checkers” licensed to censor?