An online article authentically reported that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was buying up hundreds of burnt lots destroyed in the August 2023 Maui wildfires for “pennies on the dollar”.
On September 6, 2023, the Dunning-Kruger Times website published an article claiming that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was spending “a few cents on the dollar” to buy back lots burned by the Maui wildfires in August 2023 in Hawaii, a tragedy that quickly became the deadliest wildfires in the United States in over a century.
The headline read, “Bill Gates Buys Hundreds of Maui Burnout Lots for Pennies on the Dollar.”
The article states that Gates allegedly targeted affected areas in Lahaina to execute his plans:
First there was Oprah and The Rock and their obvious ploy to bear the general public with the burden of helping people as they go in search of new prime land with nothing but what used to be a home or business.
There are reports that Bill Gates is in on it, buying “hundreds of burnt-out homes for pennies on the dollar.”
Gates says he hopes to reclaim enough parcels for the south end of Lahaina to be commercially rezoned so he can set up a “global facility” in Hawaii that will “extend Microsoft and Gates Foundation services to the Far East.” “. In other words… China.
However, this article about Gates and the Maui fires was not a factual account of actual events.
The Dunning-Kruger Times is under the umbrella of America’s Last Line of Defense, a content network described on the Times website as containing “parody, satire and nonsense.”
Any users who continued to read the article to the end would have discovered that it made fun of readers who believed the story to be true.
For further reading, the mention in the article of entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey and actor The Rock setting up their People’s Fund of Maui was a topic we had previously discussed as being plagued with misinformation.
For information, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.
Liles, Jordan. “Dolly Parton didn’t ask for donations from fire victims, unlike Oprah and The Rock for Maui?” snopesSeptember 5, 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dolly-parton-fire-donations/.
Mikkelson, David. “Why we include humor and satire in Snopes.Com.” snopesAugust 15, 2019, https://www.snopes.com/notes/why-we-include-humor-and-satire-in-snopes-com/.
Venhuizen, Too bad. “The Maui wildfires are among the deadliest in US history. Those are the other fires at the top of the list.” The Associated PressAugust 14, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/maui-deadliest-fires-us-history-507273968474a03bec332f42d10a018b.