A post shared on X claims Microsoft is purportedly disabling the computers of people who share “non-mainstream content” online in an effort to “combat misinformation” ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
The claim is false and stems from a Feb. 3 article published on “The People’s Voice,” a website that is known for spreading “fake news.” A Microsoft spokesperson denied the claim’s validity in an email to Check Your Fact.
A recent Microsoft report indicates Iranian cyberattacks and online disinformation have increased since the start of the Israel-Hamas War, according to the National Post. “Iran’s activity quickly grew from nine Microsoft-tracked groups active in Israel during the first week of the war to 14 two weeks into the war,” the report reads, according to the outlet.
“Microsoft has announced plans to disable the computers of people who share ‘non-mainstream’ content online, in an attempt to combat so-called ‘misinformation’ in the run-up to the 2024 election,” the X post, viewed over 20,000 times, reads in part. “During an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was questioned about how AI might either assist or endanger the future election,” it continues.
The site, which has previously been known as “NewsPunch” and “YourNewsWire,” is described as “one of the most well-known purveyors of fake news online,” according to a 2019 article from Mashable. (RELATED: No, Nikki Haley Did Not Say ‘Only Bill Gates Can Save Humanity’)
Likewise, although the article references a recent NBC News interview between Lester Holt and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about the role of artificial intelligence in a future election, there is no mention of disabling computers belonging to people who share “non-mainstream content” online.
In addition, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to support the claim. In fact, the opposite is true. Lead Stories, Snopes, and The Associated Press all published articles labeling the claim as false. Furthermore, Microsoft has not publicly commented on the claim.
A Microsoft spokesperson denied the claim’s validity in an email to Check Your Fact.
“There are no plans to disable any computers for users as described in these claims,” the spokesperson said.