Social Media Claim

“Emotional reaction” quote falsely attributed to Warren Buffett

A Facebook post from September 6, 2018 features a quote purporting to be American investor and businessman Warren Buffett.

The Statement

AAP FactCheck examined a Facebook post from September 6, 2018 by an Australian user which features a tweet posted by a Twitter account purporting to be American investor and businessman Warren Buffett.

The tweet, posted from the account @WarrenBuffettHQ, features an image of the philanthropist and reads: “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing everything with logic. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass”.

The post had been shared more than 8200 times and attracted more than 2100 reactions.

The same quote has been attributed to other famous people, including actor and martial arts star Bruce Lee and Indian independence leader Gandhi.

The Analysis

AAP FactCheck examined the purported Warren Buffett quote and found it has been attributed to other famous people, including actor and martial arts star Bruce Lee and Indian independence leader Gandhi.

The account @WarrenBuffettHQ which posted the quote has been suspended by Twitter. According to Twitter’s Help Center, an account may be suspended if it “is spammy or just plain fake, introduces security risks for Twitter and other users, if an account is suspected to be hacked or compromised, or if it has been reported as violating the rules surrounding abuse.”

Warren Buffett’s official account @WarrenBuffett has a blue verification tick next to the 89-year-old billionaire’s name but he hasn’t tweeted since 2016, according to a BBC report.

The blue verified tick lets Twitter users know whether an account is authentic or not. Twitter verifies an account if it is determined to be an account of public interest including “accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas”.

AAP FactCheck did a search for the quote in the Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s official Twitter account but it could not be found. A spokesperson for Buffett confirmed to ABC News in the US that another suspended Twitter account, @warrenbuffet99, which also shared the same quote was fake.

Professor Rick Benitez, a philosophy lecturer from The University of Sydney, told AAP FactCheck the quote was “very consistent with Stoic philosophy” but he was hesitant to pin down the exact origin. A key principle of Stoic philosophy is the belief that the key to a “good, happy life is the cultivation of an excellent mental state, which the Stoics identified with virtue and being rational”, according to philosophy lecturer Dr John Sellars at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The Verdict

Based on this evidence, AAP FactCheck found the quote about controlling one’s emotions to be falsely attributed to American billionaire Warren Buffett. The Twitter account which was purported to be Buffett's did not have the blue verified tick and has been suspended.

  • False - The Facebook post is false.

First published September 3, 12:03 AEST