Morgan Freeman Death Hoax: How It Happened
By Zach Dionne Posted Dec 17th 2010 08:58AM
Turns out it was just a regular guy on Twitter playing a joke that caught fire.
"How did the rumor begin?" Slate.com asks. "Blame it on @originalcjizzle, a guy with nearly 1,500 followers who is fond of calling people 'jive turkeys.' Just before 5PM ET, @originalcjizzle tweeted: RT @CNN: Breaking News: actor Morgan Freeman has passed away in his Burbank home<< wow legendary actor #RIPmorganfreeman."
C. Jizzle's post feigned CNN's authority; anyone can perform a manual retweet regardless of its veracity. "This is a common way to begin a hoax on the social network," Slate writes. "Nobody fact-checks anything on Twitter, so faking a CNN retweet is a good way to get your fake death notice to go viral."
UPDATE: C. Jizzle told PopEater via e-mail: "All I have to say right now is that I apologize to Mr. Freeman and to CNN," adding, by way of clarifying erroneous media reports about his origins -- "and I'm not a rapper."
Twitter user Peter Shankman, who WENN calls "Freeman's pal," quickly cleared up the rumor:
After much Internet buzz -- including, according to Mediaite, Borders Bookstore retweeting the false CNN post and adding, "Goodbye to another one of the greats" -- CNN jumped in to clear up the situation:
And eventually the originator of the hoax himself let loose a series of tweets explaining:
We're thrilled one of our finest actors (and arguably the hands-down finest voice) is alive and well -- although it's certainly disarming how much steam this rumor picked up compared to the fairly transparent death hoaxes surrounding Bill Cosby, Kanye West and Betty White.
- Jennifer Aniston
- Paris Hilton
Kate Middleton is officially a princess. She walked the aisle in an Alexander...
According to Denise, she's not sure that her estranged ex is completely sober....
Popeater Hot Topics
- Gisele: She's not just like you
- "12 Years a Slave," "Osage County" top SAG nominations
- 'Duck Dynasty' fam spreads holiday cheer in Afghanistan
- 'Glee' Admits Skylar Astin to Compete With New Directions
- 'The Wolverine' Tops Blu-ray, DVD Charts; Original 'Sound of Music' Hits No. 15
- Lionsgate Picks Up 'Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth'
- ?Nashville' midseason finale cliffhanger: Who died?
- ?Arrow' react: Ghosts of the past, a villain of the future
- ?The Tomorrow People' react: Tying up loose ends
- A 'Bull Durham' Musical Is Opening in Atlanta
- 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay' Adds Robert Knepper as Antonius (Who?)
- Luke Evans Crows About 'The Crow' Remake