FACT CHECK: Was A Dutch Grocery Store Burned Down Because Bill Gates Owns It?

September 18th, 2023
FILE PHOTO: Microsoft founder Bill Gates attends a forum of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on November 5, 2018. Matthew Knight/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

A post shared on social media purports that a Dutch grocery store facility was burned down because it is owned by Bill Gates.


Verdict: Misleading

The claim is inaccurate. Gates’ organization did invest in the company, but did not have a controlling stake in it.

Fact Check:

Gates met with the U.S. Senate along with tech entrepreneurs Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and others to discuss possible regulations for AI, CNN reported. Gates noted that the technology has the potential to combat world hunger while Musk warned that “The consequences of getting AI wrong are severe.”

The Twitter post purports that a company’s warehouse was burned down because the owner is Bill Gates. The post further implies that the Dutch people were responsible for the fire.

The caption reads, “The people in the Netherlands have had enough. The company which is owned by Bill Gates has been set on fire.”

The claim is inaccurate. Picnic, a Dutch online grocery, did burn down recently in the .  There is no credible news report that suggests this fire was intentionally started. Authorities stated that there is no sign the fire was intentional, according to local outlet RTL Nieuws. Furthermore, there is no indication that the fire was started as a protest against Gates.

It is true that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust invested in the company in 2021, according to RTL Nieuws. This investment is listed on their tax filings. However, Reuters reported that a spokesperson for Gates Foundation said that Gates does not have a controlling stake in the company. (RELATED: Did Burning Man Address Cannibalism Rumors At Event?)

This is not the first time misinformation has been shared online about the NFL. Check Your Fact debunked a post that the NFL told Colin Kaepernick to sell hair products instead of playing football.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter