False claims targeting billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates are gaining traction online since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, with experts warning they could hamper efforts to curb the virus.

自从冠状病毒爆发以来,针对亿万富翁慈善家比尔·盖茨的虚假说法在网上越来越受到关注,专家警告说,这些假消息可能会阻碍遏制该病毒的努力。


Gates, who has pledged US$250 million to efforts to fight the pandemic, is the latest in a string of online targets despite the World Health Organisation’s efforts to fight what it called an “infodemic” – misinformation fanned by panic and confusion about the virus.

盖茨承诺投入2.5亿美元用于抗击这一流行病,他是一系列网络攻击目标中的最新一个,尽管世界卫生组织一直在努力打击它所称的“假消息大流行”(infodemic)——因对病毒的恐慌和困惑而产生的错误信息。





Similar allegations “exploded” between January and April, Smith said.

史密斯说,类似的指控在1月至4月间曾“大量爆发”。

Since the start of the crisis, AFP Fact Check has debunked dozens of anti-Gates rumours circulating on platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram in languages including English, French, Spanish, Polish and Czech.

自危机爆发以来,法新社事实调查(AFP Fact Check)以英语、法语、西班牙语、波兰语和捷克语等语言揭露了在Facebook、WhatsApp和Instagram等平台上流传的数十条反盖茨的谣言。


They accuse the tycoon of exploiting the crisis, whether it is to “control people” or make money from selling vaccines.

他们指责这位大亨在利用这场危机,无论是为了“控制人民”,还是通过出售疫苗赚钱。

“These conspiracies are powerful enough to drive down institutional trust around health organisations, and as a result, possibly drive down vaccination rates, which is worrying,” Smith said.

史密斯说:“这些阴谋非常强大,足以打压对于卫生组织相关机构的信任,结果可能会降低疫苗接种率,这令人担忧。”

Gates’ vocal criticism of US President Donald Trump and support for vaccine development made him “the perfect scapegoat for a crisis that emerges on the intersection of technology and (medical) science,” Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius, a social sciences researcher at Finland’s University of Helsinki, wrote in a university blog post.

芬兰赫尔辛基大学社会科学研究员金娜·波利尼丘克·阿莱纽斯在一篇大学博客中写道,盖茨对美国总统唐纳德·特朗普的公开批评和对疫苗研发的支持,使他成为“科技与(医学)科学的交叉危机的完美替罪羊”。

It is not the first time Gates has found himself at the mercy of conspiracy theorists. When Zika virus broke out in 2015 in Brazil, he was one of several powerful Western figures blamed for the disease.

这不是盖茨第一次受到阴谋论者的摆布。2015年巴西爆发寨卡病毒时,他就是被指控导致该疾病的几个西方强大人物之一。

Other rumours claim that he is secretly a lizard, an old favourite among online trolls.

其他传言称他是一只蜥蜴,这一条备受网络喷子宠爱。

“He hasn’t become conspiracists’ favourite target, he has been (their favourite target) for a long time,” Sylvain Delouvee, a social psychology researcher at France’s University of Rennes, said.

法国雷恩大学的社会心理学研究员塞尔文德洛维说:“他并不是才成为阴谋家最喜欢的目标,他已经是(他们最喜欢的目标)很长一段时间了。”

The recent explosion in false claims could be explained as a coping mechanism during the global crisis, Smith said.

史密斯说,最近虚假索赔的激增可以解释为全球危机期间的一种应对机制。

“People are constantly looking for information to make sense out of this reality, and having these conspiracies offers a convenient way of having power over your situation,” he said.

他说:“人们一直在寻找能够解释这现实的东西,而有了这些阴谋,就可以方便地掌控你的处境。”。

The pandemic has also provided fertile breeding ground for attacks on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, particularly by anti-vaccine campaigners whose influential online presence was already brewing years before the virus emerged.

这一流行病也为比尔和梅琳达·盖茨基金会的攻击提供了肥沃的温床,特别是那些在病毒出现前几年就已经在网上酝酿影响力的反疫苗运动者。

The charity’s humanitarian work in Africa, where misinformation about Gates is particularly present, and financial support of the World Health Organisation – it is the agency’s second-largest donor – have fed rumours of dark secrets and ploys for power.

这家慈善机构在非洲的人道主义工作,同时也是关于盖茨的假信息的着重点,以及对于世界卫生组织的财政支持——基金会是该机构的第二大捐助者——助长了有关黑暗秘密和权力策略的谣言。


In reality, he was meeting with a research institute that had filed for a patent to potentially be used for a vaccine against a different type of coronavirus that affects animals.

事实上,他当时正在与一家已经申请了专利的研究机构会面,该专利可能被用于针对影响动物的不同类型冠状病毒的疫苗。

Like many scientists, Gates had already warned of an imminent pandemic in the years before the novel coronavirus outbreak.

和许多科学家一样,盖茨在新的冠状病毒爆发前几年就已经警告说即将爆发的大流行。

Gates has also come under attack from celebrities.

盖茨也受到名人的攻击。

Conservative US television host Laura Ingraham claimed in an interview that Gates was developing “tracking mechanisms”. She was referring to a widely misinterpreted Reddit post by the billionaire about “digital certificates” to show who has recovered, been tested or – eventually – vaccinated.

美国保守派电视主持人劳拉·英格拉汉姆在接受采访时称,盖茨正在开发“跟踪机制”。她指的是这位亿万富翁关于“数字证书”的一篇被广泛误解的Reddit帖子,该机制旨在显示谁已经康复、接受测试或最终接种疫苗。

Robert Kennedy Jnr, the anti-Trump, anti-vaccine nephew of the former American president John F Kennedy, has accused the philanthropist of dictating global health policies.

美国前总统肯尼迪的侄子、反特朗普、反疫苗的罗伯特·肯尼迪指责这位慈善家在强行决定全球卫生政策。


Debunking misinformation is “not about saying that everyone is a good guy”, said Delouvee at France’s University of Rennes, pointing to privacy concerns around the race to build coronavirus tracking apps and governments’ use of medical data.

法国雷恩大学的德洛维指出,揭穿错误信息“并不是为了说每个人都是好人”,他指出,人们对建立冠状病毒追踪应用程序和政府使用医疗数据的竞争存在隐私问题担忧。

The Gates Foundation has come under fire in publications such as The Lancet medical journal, which accused it of a lack of transparency over its financial investments.

盖茨基金会在《柳叶刀医学杂志》等出版物上遭到抨击,该杂志指责盖茨基金会在财务投资上缺乏透明度。