epa04818726 Microsoft Co-founder and US philanthropist Bill Gates listens to French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius's speech prior to the signing ceremony of an agreement to reinforce the vaccination programs and health system in Sahel at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, France, 25 June 2015. The Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD - French Agency for Sustainable development) and the GAVI Alliance (Vaccine Alliance) signs an agreement of 100 million euros with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help Sahel. EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

False Bill Gates ‘depopulate with vaccines’ news a conspiracy theory classic

AAP FactCheck December 8, 2020

The Statement

A Facebook post suggests that a 2011 newspaper article highlighting Bill Gates’s plan to depopulate the Earth through forced vaccination has been effectively scrubbed from the public record.

The post includes a screenshot of what appears to be an Instagram post that features a woman holding a copy of a newspaper titled the “Sovereign Independent”.

Text above the image in the screenshot says, “2011ÔǪ.this article can’t be found anywhere now !!! This amazing lady kept it all these years. Share the arse out of this.”

The front-page story includes the headline: “Depopulation through forced vaccination: The Zero Carbon Solution”. Beside the headline is an image of Mr Gates and a blurry quote in which he says new vaccines, health care and reproductive services may reduce population growth.

At the time of writing, the November 27 post had been shared more than 250 times and received more than 30 reactions. It was posted by a user who listed their location as Bendigo, Victoria.

A reverse image search reveals the image has been shared widely online, with more than 400 results for similar images returned.

A Facebook post
 A social media post claims a Sovereign Independent article has been scrubbed from public view. 

The Analysis

Contrary to the claim in the post, the newspaper article is readily available online. It repeats a quote from Bill Gates that has repeatedly been used out of context to perpetuate conspiracy theories surrounding the Microsoft founder and his vaccine advocacy.

A Google search returns multiple links to copies of the Sovereign Independent’s fourth edition from 2011 in the first page of results (including here, here and here).

The Sovereign Independent was an Ireland-based newspaper which published conspiracy theories and other misinformation around topics such as vaccines.

Other articles in the edition shown in the Facebook post claim the US killing of Osama Bin Laden was a hoax (page 5) and that vaccines cause autism “within weeks” (page 11).

Another edition includes stories claiming Freemasons were devil-worshippers in cahoots with the UN to control the world (page 10) and that television is a form of brainwashing controlled by the government to implement “the New World Order” (page 12).

The newspaper began publishing in 2009, according to a digital copy of its first edition, and appears to have only run seven copies, based on archives published by Dave Derby, who is identified in interviews as the paper’s editor. Its listed website is no longer active, although archived versions remain online.

The front-page story shown in the Facebook post claimed vaccines didn’t prevent illness and were designed to ensure people got sick to enrich pharmaceutical companies and to reduce the number of people on the pension.

It said vaccines were also part of a depopulation agenda promoted by the United Nations and Mr Gates.

As evidence for this, it included a quote from a TED Talk Mr Gates gave in 2010, titled Innovating to Zero, in which he discussed ways the world could reduce carbon emissions. One way was by reducing population growth through improving healthcare.

“The world today has 6.8 billion people,” Mr Gates said in the talk. “That’s headed up to about nine billion. Now if we do a great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive services, we lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 per cent.”

On the front page of the newspaper this quote was attributed to “Billy ‘The Kid Killer’ Gates”.

The article seized on the quote before adding “the globalist elite care nothing for humanity; ordinary men, women and children must be eliminated in their delusional minds to ensure that their superior types go into the future with the best of breeding being the only criteria worthy of saving”.

However, Mr Gates has stated multiple times that he believed population growth could, counterintuitively, be slowed by improving healthcare and reducing child mortality – not through killing children or adults. These improvements could be in part achieved through increasing access to vaccinations. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged billions of dollars towards the cause.

In a 2011 article in Forbes magazine, Mr Gates identified that countries with lower child mortality rates typically had lower birth rates, and so improving healthcare and vaccination rates could reduce the world’s population.

He said this was because parents could be confident their children would survive to adulthood and therefore they did not need large families.

He reiterated this view in a 2018 video published on his YouTube channel in which he says, “We find that in every country in the world this is repeated – the population growth goes down as we improve health.”

He made the same point in a 2012 video, and in posts on his website here and here.

The quote from the 2010 TED Talk has repeatedly been taken out of context to suggest Mr Gates wants to reduce the world population by killing or sterilising people through vaccinations (for example here and here).

Similar misinformation involving the same quote has previously been fact-checked as false (see here, here and here).

Mr Gates has also repeatedly been the target of numerous misleading and false claims on social media. AAP FactCheck has previously debunked claims that he has been charged with war crimes and wants to microchip humans, among others (see here, here and here).

Bill Gates

 Microsoft founder Bill Gates says lower child-mortality rates can lead to lower population growth. 


The Verdict

Despite a claim to the contrary, the 2011 newspaper article featured in the Facebook post can be readily found online. The newspaper, the Sovereign Independent, published conspiracy theories and misinformation on a range of topics.

The article referred to in the post incorrectly suggests Microsoft founder Bill Gates wants to depopulate the Earth through forced vaccinations. Mr Gates has stated that vaccinations and other health measures can reduce child mortality, which in turn leads to reduced birth rates and population growth.

False ÔÇô Content that has no basis in fact.

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