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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Usain Bolt, Princes Harry And William, Manny Pacquiao And Floyd Mayweather NOT Donating Huge Sums To Hurricane Harvey Victims

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:41:24 Z)

A collection of known fake news websites have been peddling almost identical stories about Usain Bolt, Princes Harry and William, Manny Pacquiao And Floyd Mayweather and other celebrities donating huge amounts of dollars to help victims of hurricane Harvey.

UPDATE: Added Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (the king of Bhutan) to the list.

Examples of the hoax stories:

Most of the stories use similar phrases, for example "To whom much is given, much is expected" and "thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters in Houston".


The sites all seem to be part of the same network of fake news websites that have innocent-looking main pages with generic news taken from other sources. The fake stories on the sites are never shown on the front pages. Some of the sites in the network include usa360-tv.com and houstonchronicle-tv.com but there are dozens of other sites which seem to follow the same pattern. We will update this post if we find more fake stories about celebrities donating whopping sums of dollars.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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