Sadly, you can just about guarantee that a new celebrity death hoax will appear on one of your social media feeds every few weeks.
Some of the death messages are just nasty and malicious pranks. Others are designed to drive people to fraudulent websites that contain malware or other malicious content.
These hoaxes make me very angry. What types of people are so callous and self-serving as to falsely claim that a fellow human has died just to further their own nefarious goals? It doesn’t matter if the targeted person is a celebrity. Famous or not, these people are just like the rest of us, at the end of the day. They have family and friends who love and value them and they certainly do not deserve to be targeted via these despicable death hoaxes.
And, even more disturbingly, at least a few of these celebrity death hoaxes claim that the targeted celebrity took his or her own life. Mental health studies suggest that there is an increase in suicide rates after media reports about celebrity suicides. Thus, a hoax that distributes heinous lies about the supposed suicide of a celebrity could have tragic consequences for vulnerable fans and their families.
Falsely claiming that someone has died is simply immoral. The people who create these hoaxes have no place on our social networks and deserve only our derision and contempt.