Did Denzel Washington say, “Just because you don’t share it on social media doesn’t mean you’re not up to the big things”?

Claim:

Actor Denzel Washington once said, “Just because you don’t share it on social media doesn’t mean you’re not up to big things. Live it and keep low. Privacy is everything.”

Valuation:

Incorrectly assigned

context

Denzel Washington has previously spoken about the potentially negative effects of social media. However, there is no record that he ever said those words. According to our research, author Idil Ahmed first tweeted the quote in 2016. Two years later, a fake tweet screenshot was taken with the quote as if Washington had tweeted it from the @Denzel Twitter account, an account that doesn’t even exist. From there, it spread to memes and posts, as well as quote-collecting sites.

fact check

On April 17, 2022, Anxiety Freedom Today Facebook Page shared a post Office with a quote credited to the film actor Denzel Washington, including the words, “Just because you’re not sharing it on social media doesn’t mean you’re not up to big things. Live it and keep low. Privacy is everything.” It was somewhat ironic that the post on the state of social media prompted many of its users to respond by saying, “So true!”

Washington has spoken before about the state of social media. It’s also entirely possible that Washington would agree with the mood of this quote. However, there is no record that he ever said those words. The quote was misattributed, meaning it was originally from someone else.

Credit goes to author Idil Ahmed

The quote appears to be from 2016 tweet by author Idil Ahmed on the @idillionaire Twitter account:

That was not the first time That kind of thought was put into words. However, this was the first record of those exact words that we were able to find.

Someone created a fake tweet screenshot

It wasn’t until 2018, two years after @idillionaire’s tweet was created, that Washington’s name first appeared with the quote. A fake tweet screenshot began circulating, claiming it came from the @Denzel Twitter account. However, this account does not exist:

Denzel Washington never said just because you don't share it on social media doesn't mean you aren't up to big things and living it and keeping low key and privacy is everything.

This is not a real tweet. It was probably created via a fake tweet maker website. It could also be debated whether Washington would be unlikely to use this profile picture if it joined Twitter.

And as of April 2022, Washington appeared to have no official Twitter account. An account called @OfficialDenzel has been active on Twitter in the past. However, this account is not verified from the social media platform, and it’s unclear if she’s linked to the actor.

viral spread

After the quote appeared on social media in the fake tweet screenshot with Washington’s name and face, it was shared as text and in memes:

From those posts and memes, the quote then spread to sites that collect quotes from famous people. For example, Goodreads.com has one Page dedicated to the misattributed quote, although Washington never said the words. (Over the years we have found that these types of quote-collecting sites are not reliable sources of information, no matter how high up they appear in Google search results.)

Washington’s true thoughts on social media

Again, there’s no record of Washington ever saying, “Just because you’re not sharing it on social media doesn’t mean you’re not up to big things.” Live it and keep low. Privacy is everything.” However, as previously mentioned, he has previously expressed concerns about the state of social media.

For example, he once spoke to CBN News on the subject in this Facebook Video from November 2017:

In the video, Washington said the following about the potentially negative impact of social media:

Turn it off. I would say so. It’s hard for young people now because […] they are addicted. If you don’t think you’re addicted, and I’m talking about everyone from the highest to the lowest. If you don’t think you’re hooked then see if you can turn it off for a week.

It’s gotten quiet here, hasn’t it? Hasn’t it gone very quiet? It’s a tool, so we should use it.

God has blessed us with free will. Now it’s free will magnified. Free will on steroids. You can go in any direction you want. It will allow you and it is not the enemy. It’s just a reflection of our own free will. And we all want to be liked. But now we want to be liked by 16 million. And now some of us will do anything to be liked. We used to do anything to be liked, but it was from the person before you. Now it’s supposed to please 16 million people you don’t know.

We need to ask what the long-term, if not the short-term, effect of too much information is.

The video, that was too rebooked elsewhere resulted in various users (again on social media) responding to the impact of social media by saying, “So true!”

Washington also spoke on the subject in a youtube Video this was posted in 2017:

In summary, while Washington has spoken about the potential dangers of social media before, there is no record of him ever saying the following quote: “Just because you don’t share it on social media, that means not that you are not ready for great things. Live it and keep low. Privacy is everything.”

As a parting thought, we also noted that the quote was wrongly assigned with Washington’s name on Reddit. At the bottom of the page, the very last comment didn’t seem to get any attention or upvotes. However, it made a strong point through its use of humor:

Denzel Washington never said just because you don't share it on social media doesn't mean you aren't up to big things and living it and keeping low key and privacy is everything.

Sources:

Ahmed, Idy. TwitterNov 5, 2016

Freedom from fear today. FacebookApril 17, 2022,

CyberGhost Ultimate. “Just because you don’t share it on social media doesn’t mean you’re not up to the great things. Live it and keep low key. Privacy is everything. -Denzel Washington.” R/Privacy on RedditJuly 4, 2021 www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/ode5ls/just_because_you_dont_share_it_on_social_media/.

Denzel Washington warns young people about an overlooked danger that could destroy them. CBN News, 2017,

deyavelii. Denzel Washington speaks on social media. Youtube, 2017,

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/washington-social-media-quote/ Did Denzel Washington say, “Just because you don’t share it on social media doesn’t mean you’re not up to the big things”?

Brian Ashcraft

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