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Twitter has not suspended Bill Gates’ account, a company spokesperson and Gates spokesperson confirmed. The account remains active.
A viral image that purported to show a screenshot of Gates’ account with a suspension notice attached was faked, with some telltale signs that it was not authentic.
Shortly after Tesla CEO Elon Musk reached a deal to purchase Twitter, a viral social media rumor took off that falsely claimed Musk, the world’s richest man, had immediately banned from the platform another man who once held that title: Bill Gates.
The same image also appeared in posts on Facebook and Instagram, which were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) Some posts were labeled as jokes. Others were not.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to PolitiFact that the company has not taken enforcement action against the Microsoft founder’s account. The @BillGates account remains active on the site. Gates has tweeted three times since the Musk deal was announced.
A spokesperson for Gates also confirmed that the rumors of his suspension were false.
There were other telltale signs that the image was fake.
It showed Gates’ profile image, written bio, follower count and other account details still on his page. But these details are typically removed or grayed out on suspended Twitter accounts, as they were on the @realDonaldTrump account belonging to former President Donald Trump and the @mtgreenee account belonging to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.
Only the user’s Twitter handle remains visible after a suspension, along with a notice that reads, "Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules. Learn more."
Plus, the deal with Musk is expected to officially close later in the year, according to reports. The New York Times reported that Twitter’s CEO estimated it could take three to six months.
Musk has tweeted criticism of Gates in recent days, but he has not signaled his intention to suspend Gates from the platform he’s set to acquire. Musk said he hopes "even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means."
We rate claims of Gates’ suspension False.
Tweet, April 25, 2022
CrowdTangle, accessed April 27, 2022
Bill Gates on Twitter, accessed April 27, 2022
Elon Musk on Twitter, accessed April 27, 2022
Associated Press, "Elon Musk didn’t get Bill Gates suspended from Twitter," April 26, 2022
Reuters, "Fact Check-Bill Gates not suspended from Twitter after Elon Musk deal to buy platform," April 26, 2022
Associated Press, "Elon Musk to buy Twitter for $44B and take it private," April 26, 2022
The New York Times, "Elon Musk and Twitter Reach Deal for Sale," April 25, 2022
CNBC, "Elon Musk says he confronted Bill Gates about shorting Tesla," April 23, 2022
Email correspondence with Gates Ventures, April 27, 2022
Email correspondence with Twitter, April 27, 2022
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