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
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!