A fake news story is making the rounds of social media, stating that Jamaica’s recently retired, eight-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt is donating $150 million to those victimized by Hurricane Harvey. The fake news article is illustrated with a close-up photo of Bolt accompanied by the following text: “Breaking News: Usain Bolt donates $150 million dollars to Hurricane Harvey Victims. There’s a well-known saying that ‘To whom much is given, much is expected’ and by all accounts, it appears Usain Bolt knows what he means to the world.” The URL on the posting is usa300-tv.com, a “server not found” address.
Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall on Friday, August 25, 2017, and which has been dumping record-breaking amounts of rain on Texas, particularly the city of Houston and its neighboring locations, has caused untold amounts of damage to both life and property. Thousands of people have been rescued from the flood waters by government, military and volunteer workers; many more still need help to leave their flooded homes. There is no doubt that the victims of the hurricane require immediate aid and will continue to need help through the lengthy recovery process. Authorities are predicting it will take years for the region to come back from the disaster. The very real needs of the victims make the appearance of this fake news about Bolt’s donation especially hurtful.