In a tragic turn of events, legendary 80’s frontman Jon Bon Jovi was found dead last night after law enforcement officials found him unresponsive in a New Jersey hotel. This terrible news comes only months after actor Adam Sandler died in a terrible snowboarding accident and Will Smith fell off of a cliff while mountain climbing in New Zealand.
Of course, all of these things were only true for a few hours on Twitter.
The Bon Jovi lead singer is the latest victim of a Twitter death rumor, the type of inaccurate viral news that has fake-claimed-the-lives of people like Justin Bieber, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Chan and many more.
This particular rumor was spread on the site with the help of a link to a pretty horrible looking press release on a wordpress blog called dailynewbloginternational. The release claimed that Bon Jovi had died at the age of 49 after “paramedics found him in a coma at his Empress hotel.”
Just above the headline is a link to “Megan Fox is the 14th Hottest Woman of All Time: HIV POSITIVE,” so, yeah.
This is not the only fake celeb news source for those looking to start a Twitter rumor. For years, folks have been able to turn to the “Global Associated News” and their “Fake a Wish” service, a celebrity fake news hoax generator. The fake news stories always look like this, and come with a (very small) disclaimer at the bottom of the page describing the site as FAKE.
But most people fail to look closely before spreading juicy celeb death gossip, so plenty of stars have met their untimely end (numerous times each) on Twitter.
In a pretty funny response to the rumors, Jon Bon Jovi this to his Facebook page: “Heaven is a lot like New Jersey – rest assured that Jon is alive and well. This photo was just taken.” That photo referred to is the lead image above, where a very much alive and well JBJ stands in front of a Christmas tree.
I don’t want to end with any JBJ cliches about being “wanted dead or alive,” but I will say that Twitter death rumors are a real loaded gun. Once they get started, no one can save you and oftentimes the damage is already done.