The claim: World Economic Forum chairman Klaus Schwab said the internet needs to be reformed
After the World Economic Forum launched a global initiative for COVID-19 and economic recovery called the Great Reset, claims have been circulating linking the proposal to conspiracy theories about the pandemic and a “new world order.”
Now, some users are claiming that Klaus Schwab, the organization’s chairman, said some of the Great Reset involves internet reform.
“The internet needs reform, there is too much misinformation,” reads a screenshot of an alleged tweet from the World Economic Forum’s account. “This will be the next step for the Great Reset,” says Klaus Schawb (sic).”
The post was shared on Facebook on March 24 by the Libertarian Candidates page, generating more than 1,400 responses in less than a week. The same screenshot was shared with Reddit, iFunny and Twitterwhere one post garnered more than 3,000 likes.
The claim builds on the baseless Great Reset conspiracy theory that claims global elites manufactured COVID-19 to advance their interests and establish a one-world government by restricting individual freedoms.
And the tweet in question is made up – as you might guess from the misspelled name of the organization’s leader. There is no evidence that Schwab has called for internet reform, and independent fact-checking organizations have debunked the claim.
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USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the post for comment.
No proof of statement
World Economic Forum spokeswoman Amanda Russo told USA TODAY via email that the claim circulating online is a “ridiculous and baseless statement.”
There is no evidence of the tweet on the organization official Twitter page or archived versions of it dated March 22, the day the image claims the tweet was published. Schwab’s name was misspelled in the tweet and there are no credible news reports that he called for internet reform.
The image of Schwab in the fake tweet is from September 2018, when he spoke to a briefing at the World Economic Forum in Vietnam, according to the caption of the photo on Getty Images. The event was all about entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Founded in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, the World Economic Forum says it aims to bring political, business and cultural leaders together to “shape global, regional and industrial agendas”. Politicians and experts meet annually in Davos for conferences.
The Great Reset was proposed by the World Economic Forum in June 2020. The plan focuses on global economic equality. It encourages governments to improve tax policies, implement backlog reforms and “capture the innovations of the fourth industrial revolution,” according to the organization’s website.
Independent fact-checking organizations have previously debunked claims about Schwab and the Great Reset proposal.
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Our rating: Modified
Based on our research, we review ALTERED an image claiming Schwab says the internet needs to be reformed. The World Economic Forum said the claim is false and the tweet does not exist on the organization’s official Twitter page. There’s no evidence that Schwab said the internet needs to be reformed, and the claim reflects previously debunked conspiracy theories about the Great Reset.
Our fact-checking resources:
- Amanda Russo, March 30, email exchange with US TODAY
- World Economic Forum, accessible on March 30 Twitter page
- World Economic Forum, March 22 Twitter page archive
- World Economic Forum, accessible March 30, Klaus Schwab
- Getty Images, September 11, 2018, Vietnam-Diplomacy-Summit-WEF
- World Economic Forum, September 11, 2018, World Economic Forum on ASEAN Overview
- World Economic Forum, June 3, 2020, Now is the time for a ‘great reset’
- Associated Press, March 29, World Economic Forum Didn’t Tweet ‘Internet Needs Reform’
- Reuters, March 28, Fact Check – No Evidence World Economic Forum Chairman Said Internet Needs Reform
- FullFact, June 30, 2021, World Economic Forum founder did not write a book on ‘organized epidemics’
- Reuters, Dec. 21, 2021, Fact Check Letters From The World Economic Forum Show Invitations To The 51st Annual Meeting
- World Economic Forum, Accessible March 31, Our Mission
- World Economic Forum, December 2, 2019, 1973 Davos Manifesto: A Code of Ethics for Business Leaders
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