Bill Gates Partner GAVI Vaccine Alliance Targets Online Memes

by | Feb 21, 2024

An international group promoting vaccines with ties to the Gates Foundation in going after memes. Whatever could make more sense?

But things here aren’t as haphazard as they might seem. Bill Gates is known, and rich, for two things: as the founder of one of the most oppressive (in terms of design, security, and historically predatory toward free-as-in-freedom competing technology) companies ever – Microsoft.

And the other is Gates – now as a billionaire – reinventing himself through his “uncanny valley” philanthropic efforts, centered and emanating from his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and focusing by and large on all sorts of vaccines, and – agriculture.

One of those involved, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance (that gets money from Gates) now wants to reframe memes – internet’s succinct expression of humor and satire – as “health disinformation super-spreaders.”

And we’ve heard this one before – this genre, that, in the digital age, might as well be considered as any other artistic format in previous times, is said to be capable of evading “fact checkers and content moderators” (i.e., censors).

In previous eras and authoritarian states, that would get the books with imagery and words characteristic of memes banned or burned.

So what could be the solution in the current era? And what does the big picture amount to?

Well, it’s just Bill Gates going after a free and open internet again, only by other means – cynics might say.

But here’s what a blog post on GAVI’s site says: “Our research shows that memes form part of a highly sophisticated strategy to spread and monetize health disinformation.”

(Not throwing the “monetize slur” in there – in the context of “the Gates!” /s)

When the “research” is done – (including assertions such as that memes falsely “depicted unvaccinated people as unfairly stigmatized” – well tell that to tennis superstar Novak Djokovic who almost got his career ruined by actual unfair stigmatization) – come the conclusions:

“Influencers promoting vaccine hesitancy use memes to build their online following, sow distrust of health authorities and profit from the promotion of unapproved medicines. This enables them to evade responsibility for any negative consequences of their messaging.”

There’s a “call to action” too, basically – to formally criminalize memes.

Says GAVI: “Memes may not look threatening – but that’s why they are such effective super spreaders of health disinformation.”

So then, what is GAVI, in its own words?

“As a founding partner of GAVI, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has brought international attention to the cause of immunization and has made several commitments to GAVI, totaling US$ 4.1 billion to date.”

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