Owen Wilson is dead. Or at least that is what some sick member of the social media networking world would like us to think. The story of Wilson’s supposed death was the most recent falsity in a string of many celebrity death hoaxes hitting the net. Among the other perfectly alive celebrities who were recently rumored to be dead are Adam Sandler, Charlie Sheen, Aretha Franklin and Morgan Freeman.
Technology has faults
Everything is always about bigger, better and faster. In a lot of ways, how can one blame society? Life is precious, and we only get so much time to enjoy the many great things that it has to offer. With things being faster and easier, we supposedly have more time to enjoy all the aspects of life. The explosion of the internet and social networking has made it so news can be relayed to millions every single minute of each day.
Twitter reported back in April 2010 that it had 105,779,710 members and is adding 300,000 new members per day. This is great in case of an emergency, but when it comes to factual reporting, not so great. That means one person can start a wildfire.
People can do some sick things
Is it really surprising that people would go to such extremes as creating celebrity death hoaxes? With the more instant nature of anything newsworthy in today’s technology-driven world, fame can be had instantaneously. People love to be famous and we love to know what’s going on with famous people. If your average regular day Joe and Jane Doe break-up, it affects very few people. To those people, it is tremendous news, but to everybody else they can’t care less in most ways. It’s not that they are heartless; it’s just so common that it doesn’t peak anybody’s interest.
When Sandra Bullock and Jesse James got divorced, though, everybody cared. If you met somebody who didn’t know about the divorce, you would think they must have been in a coma. So whether some creeps want to see something they created go viral, or maybe just get a thrill over people’s sadness, fake celebrity death rumors have appeal. That doesn’t even include the idea of whether they can find a way to make some bank off of the scam.
Myth or Truth
With all the false rumors floating around Twitter and other social networking media, figuring out the truth is no easy task. The best thing to do is be patient. I know that is a lot to ask of people in this “I want it now world,” but it doesn’t take too long for the rumors to be debunked. A great place to check on that is well-known for disproving celebrity myths: Snopes.com. The biggest thing you can do to help sort the myths from the truths is to not be part of the problem. Please know for sure that the news you are receiving is reliable before you tweet or Facebook it on to others.
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