Claim: A viral Twitter screenshot circulating on social media claims Bill Gates tweeted in solidarity with the killing of animals by Muslims during Eid-al-Kabir celebrations.
Verdict: No, Bill Gates did not tweet on Eid-el Mubarak
Just days before the Eid-El-Kabir holiday, a supposed tweet from Microsoft founder Bill Gates went viral where he allegedly said he supported the slaughter of animals for Muslim festivities.
A screenshot of this tweet was shared on various social media platforms, including WhatsApp status updates, as a belief validation.
The alleged tweet reads: âI don’t want to see any tweet hating Muslims for slaughtering animals; around 1 million animals are killed every day by KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, etc. to feed the rich and make money out of them. During Eid, Muslims sacrifice them to feed the poor for free and you all go crazy (sic).
Animal rights advocacy in Nigeria
Recently in Nigeria, the fight for animal rights has gained momentum, especially on social networks.
Wrestling is also campaigning against the act of fighting with rams on Muslim holidays, describing the idea and process as cruelty to animals. Those who oppose this idea describe it as “barbaric” and akin to animal brutality.
In addition, a petition filed on change.org has been signed by over 9,000 people. The petition, which began over a year ago, was started by UK-based international animal rights activist Natasha Choolun.
The petition, titled âStop the Barbarian Dog Meat Industry in Nigeria,â calls for a ban and closure of the dog meat trade industry in Nigeria.
The petition alleges that the dog meat trade in Nigeria has become so prosperous that dogs are “taken” from neighboring countries such as Niger and transported to Nigeria, in order to maintain the country’s growing demand for dog meat.
What is Eid-el-Aldah / Mubarak?
It is the last of two official festivals celebrated within Islam (the other being Eid-al-Fitr or âFeast of breaking the fastâ), Wikipedia says.
It honors Prophet Ibrahim’s will to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to Allah’s command. Before Ibrahim sacrificed his son, however, Allah provided him with a lamb to be sacrificed instead.
In commemoration of this intervention, animals are ritually sacrificed. A third of their meat is eaten by the family offering the sacrifice, while the rest is distributed to the poor and needy.
Sweets and gifts are offered, and people visit and greet extended family members during the festival. The day is also sometimes called Big Eid or Greater Eid.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days.
There are two Eid celebrations each year: Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and Eid-al-Adha, which celebrates Ibrahim’s sacrifice.
Simply, Eid-al-Adha is considered to be the holiest of the two religious festivals and therefore it is called “Grand Eid”, while Eid-al-Fitr is known as “Little Eid”.
Eid-al-Kabir means “Big Eid” and is used in Yemen, Syria and North Africa, while other translations of “Big Eid” are used in Pashto, Kashmiri, Urdu and Hindi.
Dubawa’s first point of action was to retrace the acclaimed tweet on Bill Gates’ Twitter timeline.
Our research was limited to the week of Eid celebrations since the debate over the acclaimed screenshot started to gain traction on social media around this time.
However, after a thorough search of Bill Gates’ Twitter timeline, the alleged Tweet was not found on his page and there was no deleted tweet stamp.
Another notable red flag is that Bill Gates rarely tweets on religious matters. Much of the content of his tweets focuses on climate change, the environment, health, philanthropy and other major issues affecting humanity.
Due to this reality, we performed an analysis of the suspected tweets to trace its actual source and the results show that they were fake, forged using an online tool called ‘TweetGen’.
The Tweet Generator is a web application that allows online users to create fake tweets. The app can be used to create a premium tweet template, with a preferred date and all the other things a real tweet embodies.
The tool gives an exact copy of an original Tweet, making it difficult for someone to tell the difference
We also performed a forensic analysis of the images of the fake tweet to compare it to a real one from the “Twitter Public Policy” page and an analysis of the level of error on the two images, verifying the authenticity of the opacity. (0.95), Error scale (94), JPEG quality (94) at the same scale.
Image 1: Results of forensic analyzes performed on the original image The result is a ray of glittering color emerging from the text.
Image 2: Forensic results of the fake tweet. Apart from the three sparkling parts where the image of Bill Gates is placed, the main text is entirely in black and white. The entire image is also shaded compared to image 1
A review of Bill Gates tweets
Additionally, a careful grammatical and syntactic comparison of the acclaimed tweet with many other tweets made by Bill Gates on his Twitter timeline shows that he does not tweet in English abbreviations or slang and is also effective with various rules. spelling and punctuation which are all found on the acclaimed tweet assigned to him.
A typical Bill Gates tweet
A content search of the acclaimed tweet also revealed that this was not the first time it had gone viral. By August 2019, the tweet had gone viral, sparking various reactions on the internet.
A message tweeted in 2019 enclosing the exact screenshot under review
Another check on Bill Gates’ Twitter account showed that he had never tweeted this.
Additionally, a keyword search on Twitter found that many people originally tweeted the post and for those who retweeted it, none of the searches included Bill Gates among the authors of the controversial tweet.
The tweet is not from Bill Gates; rather, it was photoshopped for the sole purpose of misinforming the public. This is wrong, Bill Gates has never tweeted such.
The image of the tweet captioned “An example of a tweet created by DUBAWA on the tool” is not real. It has been created for illustration and clarity purposes only.
The researcher produced this fact check as part of the 2021 Dubawa Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with The PUNCH to facilitate the ethics of ‘truth’ in journalism and improve media literacy in the country.