go to content

15 Important People Who Were Killed By The Internet

Impatience in the Internet age only leads to reporting false information. A handful of legitimate news organizations have even gone on to report the wrongful deaths of some beloved famous figures. That's what happens when you don't pause to go deep. Dare2GoDeep with The Economist from now on so you don't get caught up in another one of these crazy hoaxes.

Posted on

1. Eddie Murphy

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

A frequent target for these situations, Eddie Murphy has been declared dead over the Internet by way of a major car accident, and an unfortunate snowboarding accident four times alone.

2. Dave Matthews

John Shearer / Getty Images

In 2007, a CNN article surfaced stating Matthews had died of a drug overdose (with similar rumors surfacing in 2003). The hoax was all the work of a sneaky person who mimicked the website's content interface, and hosted the fake updates from their home.

4. Bill Cosby

Michael Buckner / Getty Images

When the unforgettable and beloved comic endured his fifth hoax in 2012, it was a nation-wide trending topic, and it spawned a rogue Facebook community memorial surpassing 300,000 members.

5. Cher

Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

When former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher passed away, Twitter users became confused by the trending topic #nowthatchersdead, reading it improperly "Now That Cher's Dead," and collectively melted down without double-checking proper news outlets on the real status of the legendary star.

6. R. Kelly

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

A website called Global Associated News published a piece on May 5, 2013 claiming Kells had died in a jet ski accident in Turks and Caicos. Word quickly spread through the Twitterverse before readers had the time to scroll down the page of the news story to read the caveat that the story was 100% fake and for entertainment purposes only.

7. Bill Nye

Kevin Gallay / Getty Images

The hero of middle school science classrooms everywhere was widely reported dead across Twitter, trending twice in 2011, and once in 2012. After the 2012 incident, and confirming his well-being, he actually leveraged the chatter in a productive direction and reemerged with new material, releasing a series of short web videos about the importance of teaching evolution in classrooms.

8. Jon Bon Jovi

David Bergman / Via facebook.com

In 2011, a website posing as a legitimate news organization (that has since been shuttered) reported that he had suffered a cardiac arrest, then passed away in a hospital. With no disclaimer on the report, and a story left unconfirmed, fans still immediately took to Twitter to mourn. He confirmed he's still (wanted dead or) alive that Christmas.

9. Jackie Chan

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

The action movie hero has over 50 memorial Facebook pages in his honor after two major death hoax incidents in 2011 – each resulting from social media rumors he'd suffered a heart attack.

10. Kel Mitchell

Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

By 2006, social networks were not yet booming. No one had heard from the former Nickelodeon star in a long time, and rumors of his death suddenly began to circulate by way of an "official statement" that spread via email.

11. Jaleel White

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Likewise, the "loss" of the actor well-loved as Steve Urkel went down around the same time in 2006, originating from a message on MySpace.

12. Sinbad

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

In the early years before Wikipedia was more closely monitored, reports of the stand-up comic's passing made it to news organizations once someone published an unconfirmed edit to his page. The first call the comic got asking to confirm the news came from his own daughter.

14. In that same week's span of time in 2009, hackers also created death hoaxes for Jeff Goldblum...

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

By way of taking a fatal fall on set in New Zealand.

Yikes. Go deep before you Tweet!

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss