In 2015, an unassuming-looking Bill Gates came on stage at the TED conference in Vancouver to issue a dire warning.
“If anything kills over 10 million people over the next few decades, it is likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than war,” he told the audience.
His prescient words picked up some coverage at the time, including from the BBC – but largely went unheeded.
But now, the video of this talk has now been viewed more than 64 million times – with many people more interested in the reasons behind that speech than the talk itself.
Some accuse of him of leading a class of global elites. Others believe he is leading efforts to depopulate the world.
Still more accuse him of making vaccines mandatory, or even attempting to implant microchips into people.
The face of public health
“There are myriad conspiracies surrounding Bill Gates,” said Rory Smith, from fact-checkers First Draft News.
“He is this kind of voodoo doll that all these communities are pricking with their own conspiracies. And it is unsurprising he has become the voodoo doll – because he has always been the face of public health.”