A poster describing Yuval Noah Harari as a World Economic Forum and United Nations spokesperson has misled social media users into thinking that a statement about human free will the poster attributes to the Israeli philosopher represents the views of those bodies.
The graphic attributes the quotation “The era of free will is over” to Harari and has been shared by users across Twitter (here), Facebook (here) and Instagram (here).
Interactions with the post suggest that users perceived the statement to have been made on behalf of the international organizations.
However, the quotation itself is unverified and Yuval Noah Harari does not hold any official position with the UN or the WEF. Harari’s own official website says that he is a lecturer at the Department of History in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (www.ynharari.com/about/). The University also lists him as a faculty member in the history department (here).
Reuters has previously addressed the narrative that Harari represents the WEF or “globalist” views in general, and has debunked statements attributed to Harari in that context (here).
In December 2022, a WEF spokesperson told Reuters that Harari is not affiliated with the organization and that the existence of a bio of Harari on the WEF website “simply means he attended one of our events, but he is not at all working for our organization.”
Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, also told Reuters that Harari “is not employed at the United Nations.”
Reuters could find no evidence of Harari having made the statement “the era of free will is over.”
Representatives for Harari did not confirm or refute the quotation but referred Reuters to Harari’s publicly available position on whether human free will is illusory (www.ynharari.com/faqs/).
Misleading. There is no evidence that Yuval Noah Harari represents the UN or WEF, or that he made the statement about free will attributed to him.
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