The claim was made in a live-stream video (screenshot here) on October 26 by Facebook page Stop the Rot Sack the Lot, which purports to be an alternative news service with topics including COVID vaccines, the deep state and general global conspiracy theories.
“Sponsored by BlackRock and backed by all these philanthropists … So that’s who it’s backed by. So straight away guys another false flag. They’re sucking you in,” one of the hosts says of the Fault Lines review (video mark 8min 22sec).
In that video, Ms Mason discusses the three philanthropic groups, alleging they will benefit financially from the review’s recommendations.
Although Ms Mason does not claim the investment giant sponsored the report, she cites the philanthropic groups’ business arms as Fortescue Metals, Ramsay Health Care and Tanarra Capital and then claims BlackRock and Vanguard are among the main shareholders of Fortescue and Ramsay.
She then tells her followers the two investment management companies “own pretty much everything in the world’.
At the time of publication, BlackRock had a 1.48 per cent stake in Fortescue Metals while The Vanguard Group and Vanguard Investments Australia had 1.32 per cent and 0.99 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile BlackRock had a 2.43 per cent stake in Ramsay Health Care with BlackRock Investment Management (Australia) owning 0.96 per cent.
The Vanguard Group controlled 1.92 per cent while Vanguard Investments Australia had 1.15 per cent.
AAP FactCheck has previously debunked claims around BlackRock and Vanguard’s supposed ownership of companies.
Other Facebook users are also using Ms Mason’s video to amplify conspiracy theories.
The Paul Ramsay Foundation, one of the three groups behind the report, said the claim is false, adding that the review was independent and not influenced by anyone.
“The Fault Lines report was completed by an independent review panel and jointly funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Minderoo Foundation and the John & Myriam Wylie Foundation,” a representative told AAP FactCheck in an email.
“The funders of the project had no say over its findings and recommendations.”
A representative of BlackRock also confirmed it did not fund or sponsor the report.
The claim US investment giant BlackRock sponsored the Fault Lines report into Australia’s response to COVID is false. The Paul Ramsay Foundation, one of the independent review’s three funders, confirmed to AAP FactCheck that BlackRock was not involved. BlackRock also confirmed it did not sponsor the report.
False – The claim is inaccurate.