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Celebrity Death Hoaxes Running Wild on Twitter


Although we've had our fair share of actual celebrity deaths over the past weeks, judging by the (false) news making the rounds online, you'd think half of Hollywood had bit the dust. Jeff Goldblum supposedly took a dive off a cliff in New Zealand, and the tale quickly made its way through Twitter and Facebook. The rumor became so widespread, in fact, that Mr. Goldblum released a statement reassuring everyone that he was alive and well, even appearing on 'The Colbert Report' to further prove it.

Everyone's favorite 'Jurassic Park' chaotician wasn't alone. Soon, the Internet was abuzz with "news" that Harrison Ford's yacht had capsized, George Clooney's private plane had gone down, Miley Cyrus had been in a car accident, and Natalie Portman had tumbled off the very same cliff that claimed Goldblum.

All of these tales started on the Fake A Wish Web site and were repeated ad nauseum across the Internet. The explicitly satirical site offers users a Mad Libs-style template with which to create joke stories about celebrity death and injury (and masturbation world records). The spoof stories took off as real stories when they get passed around services like Twitter -- where fact-checking takes a backseat to instant information-gathering. Fake A Wish was also responsible for the 2006 rumors of Tom Hanks' death, and a 2008 hoax surrounding Tom Cruise. According to those rumors, both of them plunged off the very same New Zealand cliff that claimed Portman and Goldblum. Apparently, people have very short memories.

Of course, you can't really blame Twitter, or the legitimate-looking, but clearly spoofed Fake A Wish. People have always been, and always will be incredibly gullible. Only now, we're tweeting tales instead of spinning them on the radio. [From: New York Times]

Celebrities on Twitter

    Recently, media personalities have taken to celebrity Twitterers like fat kids to the neighborhood ice cream truck. But don't be fooled, dear readers. We here at Switched are the fattest on the block. So, without further ado, we present to you the most ridiculous, significant, misspelled and/or out-of-context tweets by the most recognizable folks we could find. Enjoy.

    Shaquille O'Neal
    "I'm goin to the alamo tomorro to get one of those daniel boone squirrel tail hats, I'm n san antonio, in case u didn't kno were the alamo is"

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    Tina Fey
    "I don't know why I even bother chewing corn anymore."

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    Ashton Kutcher
    "There's nothing cool about being a pimp. Pimp = Slave Owner"

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    Britney Spears
    "Britney went to Jerry's Deli last night for after shopping at Target. She had a black and white milkshake with dinner. Lauren"

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    John Tesh
    "JT is shopping with women. I need a guy film."

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    Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz
    "When I'm asleep on the inside only you get my acid washed mind."

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    President Barack Obama
    "We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion. All of this happened because of you. Thanks"

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    Senator John McCain
    "YEs!! I am twittering on my blackberry but not without a little help!"

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    John Cleese
    "Thinking about tooth decay..."

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Tags: celebrity deaths, CelebrityDeaths, hoax, rumor, satire, top, twitter

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