You know that feeling when your heart leaps into your throat and you can’t believe what you’ve just heard? Well, that happened to us about a billion times in the past year when Twitter hoaxes incorrectly reported the deaths of Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, and many more stars.
Unfortunately, in this world of instant, Twitter-driven news, it doesn’t take long for one incorrect statement to turn into an enormous story. And celebrity deaths are an especially intense kind of wildfire, as evidenced by the Twitterstorms that broke out when the deaths of Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, and more were falsely reported.
Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne & More: Shocking Death Hoaxes
So let’s do a little “In Memoriam” for all the stars who “reportedly passed away” in the past year. This might get a little dark — but at least know that all of these stars are actually still alive.
Justin Bieber (Jan. 9, 2014)
Twitter users started posting that the Biebs had bit the dust in a high-speed car accident. But it turns out the tweeters were just trying to scare Beliebers. Real cool, guys.
Lil Wayne (Dec. 16, 2013, Dec. 27, 2013, Jan. 7, 2014)
This guy’s been dying a lot lately. The Dec. 16 hoax started because someone made a YouTube video titled, “R.I.P. Lil Wayne;” the other two were seemingly just because Twitter users started tweeting, “Is Lil Wayne dead?” What’s sad is that when Weezy actually does pass away, none of us are going to believe it.
Manti Te’o’s Girlfriend (Sept. 2012)
This is next-level hoaxing. It was revealed in Jan. 2013 that the former Notre Dame football star’s girlfriend didn’t die in Sept. 2012… because his girlfriend never even existed.
Celine Dion (Nov. 9, 2013)
After fans started freaking out over the iconic singer’s “death,” she commented on how devastating death hoaxes can be (because she was totally still alive). “It’s freaky because I have to call my family about it,” Celine told Digital Spy. Hmm, never thought about it that way.
Lena Horne (May 10, 2013)
It was reported on May 10, 2013 that Lena tragically passed away. That was mostly true, except for the fact that the report was based on a story written three years before. The iconic singer actually died on May 10, 2010, but when the Sacramento Bee cited a very old New York Times article, Twitter mourned her death all over again.
Neil Armstrong (Aug. 27, 2013)
A similar thing happened to Neil, who really died on Aug. 25, 2012. ABC News updated his obituary on Aug, 27, 2013, and the brand new time stamp caused thousands to believe that Neil had just passed away.
So HollywoodLifers, what death hoax scared or shocked you the most this year? Let us know!
— Andrew Gruttadaro