A screenshot circulating online appears to show a tweet from the World Economic Forum calling for reform of the internet as part of the Great Reset, a plan to revive the economy after COVID-19 that has been targeted by conspiracy theories. However, the organisation said the tweet, which misspells the name of its founder, was fabricated. AFP found no record of the post on the organisation's Twitter account.
"The internet must be reformed, there is too much misinformation out there. This will be the next step in the Great Reset, says Klaus Schawb (sic)," reads text on a screenshot shared on Facebook on March 30.
The Facebook post reads: "Cyber attacks".
The screenshot appears to show a tweet from the World Economic Forum (WEF), a Swiss-based foundation that organises an annual forum for political and economic leaders in Davos.
The Great Reset is an initiative launched by the WEF and Prince Charles in 2020 in a bid to fix long-standing problems exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan to "revamp all aspects of our societies and economies" involves everything from building "green" urban infrastructure to changing wealth taxes. But it has been targeted by conspiracy theories branding it as a secret plan to control populations or deliberately create epidemics.
Some social media users appeared to believe the posts showed a genuine tweet from the WEF.
"What is everyone doing now to protect their digital info when this happens? Banks, files, passwords," one person commented.
"They want to control what you can and can't read," another wrote.
The WEF made various recommendations on improving online safety in a report in June 2021, where it said that digital platforms should have to respect industry-wide safety standards just like transportation or energy sectors.
It also highlighted problems such as health misinformation and online extremism as needing "urgent attention".
However, the tweet about reforming the internet is fabricated.
"This is deliberate and malicious misinformation," a spokesperson for the WEF told AFP.
They said the tweet was "fake" and "has never been posted by the World Economic Forum".
The message misspells the name of the WEF's founder and chief Klaus Schwab, who "never made this statement", the spokesperson added.
However, it did not tweet anything about internet reform that day.
A search of tweets posted from the forum Twitter account with the phrase the internet must be reformed did not find any such tweets.
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