FACT CHECK: Did The World Health Organization Publish This Tweet About Reforming Free Speech?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a tweet from the World Health Organization (WHO) about reforming free speech.

Verdict: False

The tweet is from a parody account. There’s no evidence the WHO is planning to discuss free speech or posted such a tweet.

Fact Check:

The WHO has commented on the rise of misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, referring to the issue as an “infodemic,” according to the organization. The organization has issued guidance for readers to use to identify misinformation online.

The Facebook post appears to show a screen grab of a tweet published by the WHO. “The world leaders are about to break for a lunch of fresh Atlantic crab and Spanish pork, followed by duck and the worlds (sic) best cod from a sustainable farm in Norway,” reads the alleged tweet. “When we resume we will be discussing freedom of speech and how it could be reformed. #Davos2022.”

The tweet was not published by the official WHO Twitter account. A keyword search revealed the tweet originated from an unverified account with the handle @worldHellOrg. Online archives show the account’s handle had recently changed from @WorldHlthOrg. The account’s bio identifies it as a parody.

There is no record of the verified WHO account sending such a tweet. It does not appear in archived versions of the account. A reverse image search revealed the photo of the dinner table included in the tweet originated on the stock photo website Shutterstock.

“WHO’s Facebook handle is @WHO,” a WHO spokesperson confirmed to Check Your Fact in an emailed statement. “So this looks to be a fake account.” (RELATED: Did The World Health Organization Create This Poster Stating ‘We’re In This Forever’?)

The parody post also appears to have mixed up the WHO’s World Health Assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, and the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting, which was held in Davos, Switzerland. Reforming freedom of speech is not mentioned on the informational websites of either event.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter