Update – November 2018:
While the claim that Tom Kenny has died is a hoax, it is TRUE that Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants has died.
Circulating social media posts claim that Tom Kenny, the actor who supplied the voice of much-loved children’s character SpongeBob SquarePants has died.
The claims are untrue. Tom Kenny is alive and well. This is just one more in a long series of celebrity death hoaxes. The hoax, which began on Twitter, appears to be an attempt by some Twitter users to gain large numbers of retweets and new followers. The bogus story has now spread to Facebook and other social media sites.
These messages, which are currently going viral via Twitter and Facebook, claim that Tom Kenny, the man who provided the voice of loved cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, has died.
However, the claims in the messages are outright lies. Tom Kenny is alive and well. There are no credible news reports about the death claims other than those denouncing them as hoaxes. In fact, this is just the latest in a long and sorry series of similar celebrity death hoaxes that have plagued email inboxes and social media sites for years.
In recent months, such death hoaxes have significantly increased in frequency, with several often circulating simultaneously.
This version began its life on Twitter, apparently created by some lowlife individual whose goal was simply to amass a great many retweets and gain new Twitter followers. The Twitter posts soon spawned similar notices on Facebook and other social media sites.
Given the number of such celebrity death hoaxes that have circulated recently, social media users would be wise to check the veracity of any death rumours that come their way before reposting them.
The mainstream media is sure to publish information about the death of any celebrity or well-known person. Thus, a simple search of a news service such as Google News should quickly reveal if a social media-driven claim about a celebrity death is true.
Please do not cater to the sick desires of the people who create such hoaxes by retweeting, sharing or liking their nonsensical messages.