Image: © Depositphotos.com/Jean_Nelson
Despite claims in circulating rumours, much loved US actress Betty White has NOT died. Betty is alive and doing well for her age. The rumours falsely claim that Betty was found dead in her home. And at least one R.I.P. Betty White Facebook Page has been created.
Unfortunately, many Internet users just quickly skim-read social media posts and pass them on without even the most rudimentary analysis.
Back in early September 2014, a message began circulating that featured the headline ‘Actress Betty White, 92, Dyes Peacefully In Her Los Angeles Home’. The message includes a link to read more details.
Those who do click the link were taken to a report on the satirical/entertainment website Empire News. The report was just a tongue-in-cheek humour piece that claims that Betty White is not a natural blond and enjoys dying her hair in the privacy of her own home.
The story is just a play on words designed to support the headline. The use of the word ‘dyes’ in the headline sets up the joke.
But, alas, many users apparently either did not notice that the word was ‘dyes’ rather than ‘dies’ or just thought it was a spelling error. And, they didn’t click the link to read the article, which would quickly reveal that the story was just a joke.
Instead, they hit the ‘share’ or ‘retweet’ button in the mistaken belief that Betty White really had died.
And, inevitably, a few recipients subsequently created and shared ‘R.I.P. Betty White’ and similar messages that did not include the ‘Dyes’ headline or the link to the original joke article.
Since its September beginnings, the story has morphed into a fully-fledged celebrity death hoax and continues to circulate. The ‘dyes’ joke has been well and truly left by the wayside. Thus, many recipients of newer versions of the message – which says ‘dies’ rather than ‘dyes’ – have been convinced that Betty really has passed away.
Of course, these sorts of scenarios could be very easily avoided if people only took the time to properly read social media ‘news’ posts and do a quick verification before sharing.
Actress Betty White, 92, Dyes Peacefully In Her Los Angeles Home