15 Public Figures Who Were 'Killed' On Social Media

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift

Photo: AP

Fake death reports are all the rage lately on social [email protected], a fake Twitter account, created an international uproar Tuesday by tweeting ex-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had died.

That rumour, like many celebrity death reports on social media, turned out to be false.

From Demi Moore to North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un, public figures everywhere risk virtual assassination.

Kim Jong-un

Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site similar to Twitter, first 'broke' the news that North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-un had died, The International Business Times reported in February.

The rumour mill began churning when a man who works near the North Korean embassy in Beijing posted a concerned message on Weibo.

'Downstairs from the office, the cars at the Korean embassy are increasing rapidly, now there are over 30 cars. It's the first time I've seen this situation, did something happen in Korea?' he wrote, according to The Daily Mail.

News organisations weren't able to verify the rumour given North Korea's insular attitude, but the U.S. government ultimately shot it down.

Demi Moore

After she was hospitalized for reportedly inhaling nitrous oxide, 'RIP Demi Moore' began circulating on Twitter, The International Business Times reported in January.

Gossip Cop struck down the rumour at the time, calling it '100% false.'

Charlie Sheen

The former 'Two And A Half Men' star has been the subject of multiple death hoaxes throughout the years.

A group called 'Global Associated News' claimed Sheen died in December 2011 in a freak snowboarding accident, The Christian Post reported at the time. It appears 'Global Associated News' is still trying to push that 'developing' story.

In July 2011, Twitter was flooded with rumours the oft-troubled star had died of heart attack, the BBC reported in February.

But Sheen laughed the whole thing off, tweeting 'Warlock: long nap...very much alive.'



A fake tweet from a CNN impostor 'killed off' the legendary songstress in January.

@Lorraine_Star created the fake account modelled after CNN's real account and tweeted 'RT @CNN: American recording artist Cher dies at 65 years old. Found dead in Malibu home,' The New York Daily News reported at the time.

Reality stars Kim Kardashian and Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger fell for the hoax, tweeting their shock at the news.

Finally, Cher's friend jewelry designer Loree Rodkin tweeted the rumour was bogus, adding, 'Whoever started that stupid rumour needs to have their face dragged across concrete,' the Daily News reported.

Joe Paterno

Back in January, social media was overwhelmed by reports Penn State's former football coach had died, The Washington Post reported.

The onslaught began when student-run website Onward State reported on a Saturday night that he had died. From there journalists began tweeting the incorrect news.

Late that Saturday night, his son son tweeted the embattled ex-coach was 'continuing to fight,' the Post reported.

Paterno did die that Sunday morning.

Kris Jenner

The head of America's favourite reality TV family fell victim to the macabre Twitter rumour mill this week when 'RIP Kris Jenner' began trending on the site, Celebuzz reported.

Kardashian fans everywhere mourned the news, with admirer Adrian tweeting 'RIP Kris Jenner, we lost an icon and a role model today. xD,' The Christian Post reported Monday.

Thankfully, Jenner's famous daughter Kim Kardashian took to Twitter to allay everyone's concerns.

'The awkward moment when 'RIP Kris Jenner' is trending yet I'm the phone with her! LOL,' Kim tweeted, according to The Christian Post.

Bashar al-Assad

Taylor Swift

Teenage girls were heartbroken when a fake MTV News Twitter account claimed the young country crooner had died, Gossip Cop reported last week.

Thankfully, Gossip Cop called the rumour '100% false,' citing the fact that the real MTV News never reported the story.

Since Swift released a new single yesterday, we're inclined to believe the news about her death is fake.

Hugh Hefner

Playboy's founder died of a heart attack in July 2011, according to rumours that lit up Facebook and Twitter.

But Hefner took it all in stride, calling the rumours 'greatly exaggerated,' and saying he was 'very much alive and kicking,' The International Business Times reported at the time.

'I'm lying in bed next to Shera Bechard with a big smile on my face, reading tweets about my unexpected demise. I'm happy to see how many people are pleased that I'm not dead,' he tweeted, according to IBT.

Jackie Chan

First, pranksters tweeted back in March 2011 that the action star had died of a heart attack.

Then, a year ago, an 'RIP Jackie Chan' page popped up on Facebook, reigniting the hysteria, The Washington Post reported at the time.

While his reps responded to the first batch of rumours, they remained silent on the second round of death reports. However, as the Post reported, Chan's official website was never updated to confirm he died.

Hilary Duff

At least this one was a bit more creative.

A death hoax in August 2011 claimed the former Disney darling fell off a cliff at a golf resort in New Zealand, Zap2it reported at the time.

Global Associated News, the group allegedly behind Charlie Sheen's multiple deaths, was also responsible for Duff's untimely, yet fake, demise, E!Online reported last year.

Brad Pitt

Global Associated News strikes again.

This time, the group reported Brad Pitt died in July, claiming the actor perished while snowboarding in Switzerland, E!Online reported last month.

The fake story, which made the rounds on Twitter, claimed Mr. Angelina Jolie 'lost control of his snowboard and struck a tree at a high rate of speed.'

However, this time, the website called its own story false, posting a disclaimer at the bottom of its site claiming the story '100% FAKE!' according to E!Online.


If you believe fake Twitter stories making the rounds last week, the Brazilian soccer star has died.

The rumours began when the 'RIP Pele' tag hit social media sites, LA Late reported.

But Pele, whose real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is alive and well, according to LA Late.

A similar rumour circulated back in 2005, when a fake story claimed Pele died while working on a commercial in Brazil.

Reba McEntire

Back in January, tweets claiming the country star fell and died in the mountains of Austria circulated around the Twitterverse, E!Online reported at the time.

McEntire wasted no time telling fans the report was fake.

'While I would love to be shooting a movie in Austria, I definitely did not fall off a mountain! Nor am I dead! I am alive and kicking!!!' she tweeted, according to E!Online.

Justin Bieber

The Biebs has been the subject of quite a few death rumours.

The group behind the hoax fell upon the tried and true 'RIP' hashtag to declare the teenage pop sensation had died, E!Online reported in March.

In response, Bieber tweeted: 'great day fishing. time with grandpa doing the simple things in life. great day.'

Bieber was also the subject of a death hoax in January 2011, The International Business Times reported in March.

The death reports may have been bogus, but these mugs are for real ...

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