Fact Check: Military Did NOT Convict Bill Gates

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Military Did NOT Convict Bill Gates No Conviction

Did a military tribunal convict Bill Gates? No, that's not true: A Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories the claim is "completely false." Also, the claim originated from a self-described satirical website with a disclaimer that includes the disclaimer: "for entertainment purposes only."

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) titled "Military Convicts Bill Gates," published by Real Raw News on September 12, 2021. It opened:

A military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay has convicted Microsoft Founder Bill Gates on charges including child trafficking, pedophilia, conspiracy, money laundering, murder, and public health endangerment--the conclusion of five days of heated testimony that repeatedly saw Vice Adm. John G. Hannink of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps square off against attorney David Baluarte.

This is how the article looked on September 13, 2021:

RRR Military Convicts Bill Gates Image.png

Lead Stories reached out to the Pentagon to ask whether this claim was true. In an email dated September 13, 2021, a duty officer responded that this claim is "completely false."

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and that "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that warns readers not to take its content too seriously. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items is collected here .

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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