A viral article from conspiracy theory website Gateway Pundit claimed that an Italian lawmaker has “called for billionaire Bill Gates to face trial in the International Criminal Court for charges of ‘crimes against humanity.’” The article, written by Gateway Pundit founder and editor Jim Hoft, received further attention after being shared on the blog’s Instagram page.
The article shares a subtitled video of Italian member of parliament Sara Cunial alleging Bill Gates “has been working on depopulation and dictatorial control plans on global politics, aiming to obtain the primacy on agriculture, technology, and energy.” Gateway Pundit published this article on April 16, but the video of Cunial is not recent. It is, in fact, nearly a year old, and other fact checking outlets wroteabout it when it was first shared in May 2020. While Hoft does not editorialize about the video in the article, the video itself contains factual errors.
Cunial quotes Gates as having said, “If we do a good job on vaccines, health and reproduction, we can reduce the world population by 10-15 percent. Only a genocide can save this world.”
This appears to be a misquote of comments Gates made about reducing the rate of population growth, not reducing the existing population itself. During a 2010 TED talk about how to reduce carbon emissions, Gates said: “First, we’ve got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, 10 or 15 percent. But there, we see an increase of about 1.3.” Gates did not say “Only a genocide can save this world” during his TED talk and there’s no record of him saying it elsewhere.