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If Your Time is short
- Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia, where Hanks is shooting a movie.
- The image of Tom Hanks apparently holding a Wilson volleyball during his COVID-19 quarantine comes from a satirical Australian website.
Stars — they’re just like us: On March 11, actor Tom Hanks announced on Twitter that he and his wife, the actress Rita Wilson, tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia, where Hanks is shooting a movie.
"What to do next?" he tweeted. "The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires."
One of Hanks’ characters, Chuck Noland, experiences extreme isolation in the movie "Cast Away" after his plane crashes on a deserted island. His sole companion is a volleyball he paints a face on and names Wilson.
Not long after Hanks’ revealed his coronavirus diagnosis, an image appeared on social media showing him holding what looks like Wilson. One Facebook post says: "Hospitals in Australia have jokes. They rolled in a volleyball to Tom Hanks to keep him company while quarantined."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We hate to break it to you, Hanks Nation. The image is from a satirical website called The Betoota Advocate. The story, which includes true information about Hanks and the coronavirus, ends on a cheeky note: "To keep him company, the thoughtful and overworked staff at the Gold Coast hospital have brought Hanks in a Wilson volleyball to keep him company during the duration of his stay."
The image of Hanks holding a volleyball appears to be edited using this footage of Hanks holding a volleyball someone tossed him at a New York Rangers game in 2015.
We rate this Facebook post False.
Facebook post, March 12, 2020
Tom Hanks tweet, March 11, 2020
The New York Times, Tom Hanks got sick in Australia, where coronavirus testing is a snap, March 12, 2020
IMDB, Cast Away, 2000
The New York Times, The Betoota Advocate, a fake news site Australians really love, Dec. 26, 2017
The Betoota Advocate, Gold Coast Hospital staff roll in a Wilson Volleyball to keep Tom Hanks company in quarantine, visited March 12, 2020
New York Rangers Instagram post, Feb. 5, 2015
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