Claim: A viral Twitter Screenshot making rounds on social media claims Bill Gates tweeted in solidarity with the Slaughter of animals by Muslims during the Eid-El-Kabir celebrations
No, bill gate didn’t tweet on Eid-el Mubarak
Just few days before the Eid-El-Kabir festivity, a tweet by the Microsoft founder, Bill Gates went viral where he allegedly stated he was in support of killing animals for the Muslim festivities.
A screenshot of this tweet has been shared across various social media platforms including WhatsApp status updates as a validation for the belief.
The tweet reads, “I don’t want to see any tweet hating on Muslims for slaughtering animals; about 1 million animals get killed each day by KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King etc. to feed the rich & make hella money out of it. During Eid, Muslims sacrifice them to feed the poor for Free & y’all lose ur mind (sic).”
Fight for Animal rights in Nigeria
Recently in Nigeria, the fight for animal rights has been gaining momentum especially on social media. The fight also campaign against the act of fighting with rams during the Muslim festivals, describing the whole idea and process as animal brutality. Those who opposed the idea described that act as ‘barbaric’ and tantamount to animal brutality.
Also, a petition filed on a website known as Change.org has been signed by over 9,000 people. The petition which started over a year ago was initiated by a UK-based international animal rights activist, Natasha Choolun.
The petition, which was titled “Stop Nigeria’s Barbaric Dog Meat Industry,” seeks a ban and shutdown of the dog meat trade industry in Nigeria. The petition alleges that the dog meat trade in Nigeria has become so prosperous so much so that dogs are “taken” from neighboring countries such as Niger and transported to Nigeria, to maintain the country’s growing demand for dog meat.
What is Eid-el Aldah/ Mubarak?
It is the latter of the two official holidays celebrated within Islam (the other being Eid al-Fitr or ‘Festival of the Breaking of the Fast’), Wikipedia explains.
It honours the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before Ibrahim would sacrifice his son, however, God provided a lamb for him to sacrifice instead.
In commemoration of this intervention, animals are sacrificed ritually. One third of their meat is consumed by the family offering the sacrifice, while the rest is distributed to the poor and needy. Sweets and gifts are given, and people visit and welcome extended family members during the festival. The day is also sometimes called Big Eid or the 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 every year – Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha which celebrates Abraham’s sacrifice.
Simply, Eid al-Adha is considered the holier of the two religious holidays and so it is referred to as ‘Big Eid’ whilst Eid al Fitr can be known as ‘Lesser Eid’.
Eid al-Kabir means ‘Greater Eid’ and is used in Yemen, Syria, and North Africa, whilst other translations of ‘Big Eid’ are used in Pashto, Kashmiri, Urdu and Hindi.
Dubawa’s first point of action was to trace the acclaimed tweet on Bill Gates’ Twitter Timeline. Our search was limited to the week of the Eid celebrations since the debate regarding the acclaimed screenshot started gaining traction on social media around that time. However, after a thorough search on Bill Gates twitter timeline was carried out, the acclaimed Tweet was neither found on his page nor was there a stamp of deleted tweet.
Another noticeable red flag is that Bill Gates rarely tweets on religious issues. The contents of his tweets are largely on climate change, environment, health, philanthropy and other major issues affecting humanity. As a result of this reality, we carried out an analysis of the acclaimed tweets to trace its actual source and results show that it was fake, forged using an online tool called ‘TweetGen’.
The Tweet generator is a website based application that allows online users to create fake tweets. The application can be used to create a tweet template of choice, with a date of choice and all other things that a real tweet embodies.
We also conducted image forensics of the fake tweet to compare it with a real one taken from the ‘Twitter Public Policy’ page and an error level analysis on the two images, checking the authenticity of opacity (0.95), error scale (94), JPEG Quality (94) on the same scale.
An examination of Bill Gates’ tweets
Also, a careful grammatical and syntax comparison of the acclaimed tweet with numerous of other tweets made by Bill Gates on his Twitter timeline shows that he does not tweet in abbreviations or slang English and he is also efficient with various spelling and punctuation rules which are all found on the acclaimed tweet attributed to him.
A content search of the acclaimed tweet also revealed that it was not the first time it went viral. In August 2019, the tweet had gone viral arousing diverse reactions on the internet.
Another check on Bill Gates’ Twitter handle showed that he never tweeted that.
Also, a keyword search on Twitter revealed that a lot of people had tweeted the post originally and for those who retweeted the post none of the searches included Bill Gates’ as part of the originators of the controversial tweet.
The tweet did not come from Bill Gates; rather it was photoshopped for the sole purpose of misinforming the public. It is false, Bill Gates never tweeted such.
EDITOR’s NOTE: The tweet image captioned ‘An example of tweet created by DUBAWA on the tool’ is not real. It was only created for the purpose of illustration and clarity.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with The PUNCH to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.