According to various posts that have circulated on and off for several years, popular wrestling star John Cena has been killed in a car accident.
The car accident death rumours, which mourn the loss of the WWE icon, tend to reappear regularly on social media.
The claims in the posts are untrue. John Cena has not been killed in a car accident.
The original version of the fake death story was derived from a bogus news report published via FakeAWish.com back in 2015. The report noted:
John Cena Dies In Car Crash
THIS STORY IS STILL DEVELOPING…
(Local Team News 9) John Cena died in a single vehicle crash on Route 80 between Morristown and Roswell. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics responding to the vehicle accident and was identified by photo ID found on his body. Alcohol and drugs do not appear to have been a factor in this accident –
The ‘news’ story included the following disclaimer in small print at the bottom of the page:
FAKE… THIS STORY IS 100% FAKE! this is an entertainment website, and this is a totally fake article based on zero truth and is a complete work of fiction for entertainment purposes! this story was dynamically generated using a generic ‘template’ and is not factual. Any reference to specific individuals has been 100% fabricated by web site visitors who have created fake stories by entering a name into a blank ‘non-specific’ template for the purpose of entertainment. For sub-domain info, name removal requests and additional use restrictions: FakeAWish.com
As the disclaimer notes, FakeAWish.com allowed users to enter a celebrity’s name into a template and choose from a variety of death or injury stories, thereby generating a false news story like the one above. One such template generated the fatal ‘single vehicle crash’ story.
Since the original 2015 version, a number of other hoax-news websites have falsely reported that John Cena died in a car accident. These later stories closely mirror the original 2015 death hoax report.
Old news reports indicate that John Cena was involved in a car accident back in 2012, but sustained only minor injuries. Some of the fake death posts have included images depicting this 2012 accident.
Moreover, John Cena has been the target of several other death hoaxes in recent years. In 2012, a widespread social media message claimed that Cena had died during a wrestling stunt gone wrong. That version was designed to trick people into installing a rogue Facebook app.
Social media rumours claiming that a celebrity has died are very common. Some are outright hoaxes. Others attempt to trick users into installing malware or participating in survey scams.
It is thus wise to check any celebrity death reports that come your way before you share them or click any links that they contain.
If a celebrity really does die, the story is sure to be extensively covered by mainstream news outlets around the world. A quick check via a news portal such as Google News should reveal if reports about a famous person’s demise are true.
The 2015 Version of the death hoax:
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!