‘Misconceptions and conspiracy theories’ about her family, according to Phoebe Gates, are the worst aspect of her family’s TikTok popularity.
Phoebe Gates told The Information the greatest downside to posting on the platform was all the “misconceptions and conspiracy theories.”
The 20-year-old has more than 64,000 followers on TikTok and gives viewers a glimpse into her life with the Microsoft cofounder and her mother, Melinda French Gates. Her parents divorced in 2021 after 27 years of marriage.
“I’m pretty realistic that people start following me because of my family name. And people probably find it funny to see my dad being a goof and playing Boxbollen,” Gates told The Information in an email.
She added: “But once they follow me, they stick around, and I think some of that is because of the issues that I post about, like women’s health. And honestly, TikTok is fun.”
Gates recently shared clips from a “contraceptive talk with my mom” and a comical video of her dad dancing when he was younger. She posted one video that shows Bill Gates playing a “boxball” game, which has been viewed 8.3 million times since December.
@phoebegates Funding UNFPA (UN reproductive health agency) is critical for ensuring women have access to contraceptives when they want them. #ReproductiveRights Strut – Kyle Walker
Phoebe is the youngest of Bill and Melinda Gates’ three children. She studies at Stanford University and has interned at British Vogue. She also uses her social media to speak about the need for sustainability in fashion.
She’s planning to launch a start-up called Phia later this year with her Stanford roommate and climate campaigner Sophia Kianni. “We’re building out an idea to help make fashion more sustainable … social media is going to be a big part of that,” Phoebe told The Information.
Phoebe said her mom was “supportive and curious” about her use of social media and said she “gets” that it’s a place for young people to grow, per The Information. “My dad publishes a lot on social, but he doesn’t follow it much himself,” she added.
Phoebe also told the outlet she gets criticized by some users whenever she posts a picture of her boyfriend, another Stanford student, who is Black: “It’s 2023. I’m done being memed for being in an interracial relationship.”
Phoebe Gates didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.