Fake celebrity-death reports go viral

WHO: Twitter

WHAT: The holidays are no time to joke around when it comes to people dying, so when the Twitterverse went crazy over the reported demise of actor Charlie Sheen and singer Aaron Carter last weekend, it was no laughing matter. Fortunately, the rumors were quashed relatively quickly. Carter tweeted, “This is the real Aaron Carter I know there’s a Hoax Going Around, But I’m Here, Alive & Well,” soon after #RIPaaroncarter became a trending topic. On Sunday, Sheen’s ex-wife Denise Richards also used Twitter: “The rumor about Charlie Sheen is not true. He is alive and on his way over to see his daughters.”

WHY: Twitter has become a common venue for breaking news, and Sheen’s alleged demise came about the same time musician Teena Marie’s death hit the Internet. A little more responsibility would seem to be in order here.

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