Sinbad Heart Attack Hoax

Message claims that US actor and comedian, Sinbad, died of a heart attack on March 14th.

Brief Analysis:

Fwd: FW: Sinbad, the comedian, died today, heart attack Sinbad, born David Adkins (November 10, 1956 – March, 14, 2007) was an American stand-up comedian and actor. He became known in the late 1980s and 1990s, appearing on several television series and starring in the feature films Houseguest (1995), First Kid and Jingle All the Way (both 1996). He succumbed to a fatal heart attack on the morning of March, 14, 2007.

Detailed Analysis:
This message, which is spreading via email, blogs and online forum posts, claims that popular American actor and comedian Sinbad died on the 14th March 2007 as a result of a heart attack.

However, the information in the message is untrue. Sinbad is alive and well.

Apparently, the rumour about the star’s death first surfaced around 10th March 2007. However, the rumour began spreading rapidly after someone added false information about the fatal heart attack to a Wikipedia article about the actor.

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that can be freely edited by members of the public. In this case, an unknown perpetrator vandalised an entry about Sinbad by adding an update about his apparent death by heart attack. Wikipedia managers quickly caught and corrected the hoax entry. However, the entry was changed back to the incorrect version several times, perhaps by well-intentioned people who had believed that the initial vandalized version was correct. By the time Wikipedia finally closed the entry for editing, the story had spread far and wide.

The updated and corrected version of the Sinbad Wikipedia entry now includes the following information:

On 10 March 2007, Sinbad’s managers started receiving phone calls of condolence, after people began hearing unsubstantiated rumors of Sinbad’s death….. Hundreds of people contacted his managers and production studio, including Lionel Richie….

This rumor spread to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on 15 March 2007, when his biography was edited to include the claim of his death. The incorrect information was soon removed, but a fan spreading the initial rumor included a link to the old (and incorrect) revision of the article…

Wikipedia is an excellent online resource that contains many well written and well researched articles on a wide range of topics. However, because entries can be revised by virtually anybody, incorrect or unverified information may creep into entries. Therefore, it is wise to confirm information in Wikipedia entries via other resources.

Last updated: 21st March 2007
First published: 16th March 2007
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Wikipedia Archive: Sinbad (actor)/deleted
Wikipedia: Sinbad (corrected article)