Thursday, December 16, 2010

Morgan Freeman dead?















Morgan Freeman died on Thursday -- not in real life, but according to a Twitter hoax that duped countless users.

Though the actor is alive and well, a rumor rocketed across the internet on Thursday that CNN had reported his death.

"RT @CNN: Breaking News: actor Morgan Freeman has passed away in his Burbank home," many Twitter users posted on Thursday evening.

On Twitter, a post starting with the letters RT indicates that a user is simply re-tweeting what another user has said.

Confusion continued to spread as Twitter users "re-tweeted" or re-posted the post purportedly from CNN.

The post was re-tweeted by many other media outlets, including LiveNewsWire and ESPN's Bruce Feldman, as well as Borders headquarters.

This epidemic of re-tweets caused many to believe that CNN had posted the news, and others were simply passing it on.

But CNN's Twitter account did not display the original post, leading users to wonder whether it had been deleted as a retraction, or was potentially hacked.

"Now I'm curious if CNN even tweeted a statement about Morgan Freeman, or if someone simply hoaxed the tweet with a 'RT @CNN,'" one user wrote.

CNN itself cleared up the rumors on Thursday evening with a post to its official Twitter page.

"CNN did not report Morgan Freeman death," the network stated.

"Rumor is false. CNN will aggressively investigate this hoax."

Share