European Commission in Romania published on its social media accounts a post which is perhaps the biggest communication fail during COVID-19 pandemic: ‘Bill Gates haven’t created the coronavirus’.
The statement appeared on both their Twiter account, but also on their Facebook account:
The text, translated from Romanian, says:
Bill Gates haven’t created the coronavirus, nor has he been conspiring along with the EU for creating a global tracking system to track the movement of the people.European Commission official statement on social media accounts
5 Reasons why this sort of institutional communication is a big fail
This sort of institutional communication is considered to be a fail for at least five reasons:
It’s a sort of communication which fails to accomplish its objective
By simply saying that Bill Gates hasn’t created the coronavirus, you won’t get, as European Commission or as any other international institution, the desired effect. People who think that Bill Gates has created the novel coronavirus will mostly consider he did so despite the institutional denial; on top of that, people who haven’t ever heard of this theory will start taking it into consideration. Thus, all E.C. did was spread a false theory over social media. Quite the opposite effect intended.
Such a denial fuels the conspiracy theory
The conspiracy theories can’t be fought by institutionally denying them. Imagine CIA issues a press release saying ‘It’s not us who conspired to kill Kennedy’. You get the point.
If an institution officially denies a conspiracy theory, it simply fuels it. Those who believe in the conspiracy theory, but also the ‘by-standers’, will start thinking the theory is true if that institution does the effort of denying it. ‘They must have something to hide if they are putting in so much effort to deny it‘.
Once you start denying conspiracy theories, you have to deny all the conspiracy theories from now on
If you start denying a conspiracy theory, than you have to officially start denying all the rest. Otherwise, people will start thinking that Bill Gates theory had to be denied for an undisclosed reason, meaning it was more important for the institution which denies it than the others. And at that moment they will start thinking why the Bill Gates had to be washed clean while others hadn’t. This will fuel the theory once more.
Besides, and what is most intriguing about the statement of the European Commission, Bill Gates, an american citizen, is not institutionally related to the European Commission. Why did they bother to deny such a far fetched theory which didn’t imply the E.C.?
Yes, he did offer funding to the European Union and yes, he has some ties with the European Commission from this perspective, but he cannot be seen as something close related to the European Union. This is why the European Commission shouldn’t have issued this sort of official communication regarding a quite obvious far fetched theory. But, if you do so regarding Bill Gates, than you have to behave the same with all the other conspiracy theory, regarding American or European, but even Asian conspiracy theories.
The denial can’t be proved
If a small percentage of the Romanian or European population believes Bill Gates has created the coronavirus, than you can’t prove it otherwise. It’s a theory you can’t prove it to be false for lots of reasons.
People won’t stop believing Bill Gates hasn’t created the COVID-19 because the E.C. issued an official statement on the subject which says otherwise.
If the ‘culprit’ doesn’t issue a statement regarding the so-called accusations, it’s stupid for an official institution to do that instead
Bill Gates hasn’t even tried to deny this theory, for obvious reasons: it is exaggerated, obviously false and by denying it, he would’ve fueled the conspiracy theory and all the rest.
If he doesn’t come up and say something on the subject, why would the European Commission do something in his place? Bill Gates is alive, he is a prominent public figure, he could’ve denied the theory by himself if he considered so.
Instead of any conclusion regarding the possibility that Bill Gates could’ve created the coronavirus
The European Commission bothered to deny an obviously fake news, an exaggerated theory which regards an American individual. It’s an obvious communication mistake and it’s a bad example for any other institution.
Apart from that, as this denial targeted only Romanians, it is an insult offered to the majority of Romanians who know how to properly consider if facts read on social media are true or false.
As a lesson to all of us: don’t bother to deny obviously false and far-fetched conspiracy theories. It’s a waste of time and all you’ll do is fuel the conspiracy more.