From David Emery’s About.com Urban Legends, June 30, 2009:
It was a bumpy weekend for the rich and famous, with the entertainment industry mourning the loss of three pop culture icons even as the Internet churned out one hoax after another declaring more celebrities dead.
The hoaxfest was triggered by mid-week announcements confirming that Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson had died. By Thursday afternoon the Internet was rife with false reports claiming that actors Jeff Goldblum and Harrison Ford had died as well. Death announcements for Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Louie Anderson, P. Diddy, Natalie Portman, George Clooney, and Rick Astley “” all bogus “” followed in quick succession.
Pranksters used a variety of tactics to promulgate the rumors, including generating fake news stories on the Web, vandalizing Wikipedia pages, and hacking celebrities’ Twitter accounts. Despite their rapid dissemination, all were debunked in fairly short order. Continue reading “Celebrity Death Hoaxfest”