Fact Check: Photos Do NOT Show WEF Founder Klaus Schwab Wearing Tights, Garter, Swimsuit -- It's Different Person

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Photos Do NOT Show WEF Founder Klaus Schwab Wearing Tights, Garter, Swimsuit -- It's Different Person Man In Florida

Do viral photos show World Economic Forum founder Klaus Swab walking in public in tights, garter and what appears to be a woman's swimsuit? No, that's not true: Images in a social media post appear to show a Florida resident. Klaus Schwab lives in Switzerland.

The photos in a video (archived here) were published on Instagram on January 10, 2024. The caption opened:

Most requested video from my old account. Mass non compliance.

In the video, a woman continued:

I'm going to show you a picture of who the sockboy looks up to: Klaus, Klaus Schwab. Here is the picture of that darling.

This is what it looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-02-08 at 1.23.22 PM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Thu Feb 8 18:23:22 2024 UTC)

The composite image in the frame showed an authentic headshot photo of the World Economic Forum's founder in the middle, surrounded by two other images of a man in tights, garter and swimsuit. The text below the collage, originally written in Russian, said, as translated by DeepL:

Klaus Schwab

In the photo is the chief propagandist for the New World Order and the Reset, Klaus Schwab. It is he who is responsible for coordinating lockdowns and the destruction of businesses. Klaus Schwab is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The description of the composite image made an apparent reference to the pandemic, reusing false conspiratorial narratives debunked by Lead Stories here and here.

A search for the first sentence above in Russian (archived here) revealed that the composite image was widely shared on the Russian social media platform Vk.com.

But a reverse image search showed that both photos of the unidentified man predated the pandemic.

The TinEye reverse image search tool found the earliest available version of the image of the purple swimsuit picture in a post published on a Polish-language forum in 2019:

Screen Shot 2024-02-08 at 10.31.09 AM.png

(Source: TinEye screenshot taken on Thu Feb 8 15:31:09 2024 UTC)

The Polish-language caption (archived here) did not mention Klaus Schwab -- it was a joke about Valentine's Day gifts.

The earliest version of the second image was found on a Greek-language website. It was published in the summer of 2021. The post didn't say anything about Schwab, but the first anonymous comment alleged it was him.

A reverse image search also showed similar pictures -- for example, of a tanned man of a similar age wearing nothing but a piece of fabric covering his genitals, a white hat and dark sunglasses. Additionally, Lead Stories discovered a 2016 video of a similar-looking person walking the streets in tights, garter and swimsuit.

Utilizing a paid facial recognition tool, Lead Stories found more images of that person:

Screen Shot 2024-02-08 at 11.43.45 AM.png

(Source: PimEye screenshot taken on Thu Feb 8 16:43:45 2024 UTC)

A further search for the photo with a light green hat produced a match: The same image (archived here) was posted in one of the Florida groups on Facebook titled Only in Key West. In the comment section, the majority of the people recognized the man as a local known in the 2010s for his sensational outfits. Some locals posted their snapshots featuring the man, adding that his name was Max (for example, here).

Other images of this man posted by the Schooner Wharf Bar, a venue in Key West, identified him as Max Schwab (here, here and here.)

One more image geolocated by Lead Stories placed the man at the beach next to the Southernmost Beach Resort, a spot mentioned by one commentator from the "Only in Key West" group.

Lead Stories also found a Facebook profile of a user named "Max Schwab." It contained similar semi-naked pictures taken in Key West.

Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, resides (archived here) in Switzerland, not Florida.

Other Lead Stories fact checks on claims concerning Klaus Schwab can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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