Study finds over 40% of Republicans think Bill Gates will use a COVID-19 vaccine to impl… – Business Insider
A new Yahoo News and YouGov survey found that 44% of Republicans surveyed believe that Bill Gates will use the coronavirus vaccine to implant a microchip with a digital ID that would track the recipient’s movements.
The survey also found that 19% of Democrats, 24% of Independents, and 50% of people who use Fox News as their main source of TV news also believe this debunked conspiracy theory.
Bill Gates, who has donated $300 million to coronavirus vaccine efforts, has become the target of online conspiracy theorists and conservative pundits over his coronavirus vaccination efforts.
The survey also found that 26% of Republicans do not believe the false microchip vaccine narrative, while 31% remained undecided on the topic. Half of the people surveyed who use Fox News as their main source of TV news also believe the debunked theory.
However, the poll also noted that 19% of Democrats, 24% of Independents, and 15% of people who use MSNBC as their source of TV news also believe the microchipping myth.
For the survey, YouGov conducted an online interview of a “nationally representative” group of 1,640 US adults who were a part of YouGov’s opt-in panel between May 20 and 21. There is about a 3% margin of error.
An earlier Yahoo News and YouGov poll also found that only 55% of Americans surveyed would want the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. The rest were either unsure (26%) or did not plan on receiving the vaccine (19%).
Bill Gates has recently become an online target for right-wing conspiracy theorists.
According to data by media analysis group Zignal Labs, over 16,000 posts on Facebook related to Bill Gates and coronavirus vaccine misinformation have been liked and commented almost 900,000 times, the New York Times reported in April.
However, Facebook isn’t the only platform used to spread these conspiracies. On YouTube, the 10 most popular videos about Gate’s purported microchipping vaccine have received over 5 million views, according to the same New York Times and Zignal Labs report.
These social media platforms have tried to take steps to curtail the anti-vaccination or coronavirus misinformation movement on its website. On May 11, Twitter announced that it would start labeling “misleading” coronavirus information. Last year, YouTube announced that it would demonetize videos on its platform that are pushing the anti-vaccine agenda.
However, the Bill Gates conspiracy theorists don’t just live online in the form of bots and fringe theorists on social media. Public figures like Roger Stone and Laura Ingraham have also been pushing this same message.