A conspiracy theory shared on social media suggested a passenger’s connection to the World Economic Forum had something to do with the imploded Titan submersible.
"What is the coincidence that the father and the son that are trapped on this contraption right here, in this tin can,
are part of a (sic) organization that us Americans and Canadians all despise?" a man said in a June 21 Instagram video.
He was referring to Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, two of the submersible’s five passengers.
The man showed a screenshot of a page about Shahzada Dawood on the World Economic Forum website.
"Well, well, well. He is part of the World Economic Forum. He’s also the vice chairman of World Economic Forum.
What is the coincidence of him being stranded at sea to see the Titanic?" the man said.
The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta,
which owns Facebook and Instagram.) It was shared before the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed June 22 that the passengers in the submersible have died.
Dawood was not the World Economic Forum’s vice chairman; the Instagram user probably misread the webpage.
The webpage says Dawood is vice chairman of Engro Corp., a Pakistani holding company that works in the fertilizer, food, energy and liquefied gas industries.
He is not listed among the World Economic Forum’s leadership.
Engro Corp. is a World Economic Forum partner. World Economic Forum partners can participate in WEF centers for networking.
The corporation is associated with the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chains, Centre for Energy and Materials and Centre for Nature and Climate.
Shahzada Dawood was a British-Pakistani businessman and a member of one of Pakistan’s wealthiest families, The New York Times reported.
He also serves as a trustee on the boards of the Engro Foundation and the Dawood Foundation and serves as a director across boards of several companies, according to his profile on the Engro website.
The World Economic Forum website said, "Shahzada is a leading voice in the institutionalization of key international networks and contacts.
He aspires to a sustainable future and believes in inclusive business models involving low-income communities building value chains along business interests."
We rate the Instagram video’s claim False.