Rash of Twitter Driven Celebrity Deaths Continue
How many times have you seen headlines screaming “Famous Actor Dies in Horrific Accident!” only to find out that it was an internet rumor that has spread like wildfire? Twitter especially seems to be a breeding ground for troll driven rumors of this sort. Eddie Murphy (yes, THAT Eddie Murphy) has unfortunately found himself the target of just such a hoax once again. You know the old saying, fool me once shame on me. Fool me twice shame on you. What happens the fourth time?
That’s right. This makes the fourth time Mr. Murphy has found himself the victim of yet another Twitter celebrity death. Luckily for him and all his adoring fans, Eddie is alive and well. The question is, what is it about Twitter that makes it such a popular spot? Why are trolls spreading such inane and even potentially hurtful rumors such as these? Celebrity deaths can difficult for the public due to intense attachment. Many fans feel very connected to their favorite actors and actresses or singers.
Do You REALLY Want To Hurt Them?
Bereft fans can suffer as deep a sense of loss as family members of those who pass away. So why would any individuals decide that creating such rumors would be a worthwhile pastime? I like to think of it as a sense of morbid curiosity on the part of those who create the rumors. Perhaps they enjoy the shock value that they are creating through the untruths. Maybe some flat out like to cause psychological pain in strangers. Some may simply be bored and have nothing better to do than create gossip just to see what happens.
Regardless, Twitter offers such a sense of immediate gratification that pumping out such rumors can have an almost immediate effect on the social media world. Once a rumor is let loose upon the Twitterverse it rapidly expands growing a life of its own and can even be extremely difficult to dispel especially if the subject of the rumor does little to help put it to rest.
Celebrity deaths are easy to dispel with simple sightings doing a lot to help out, but other rumors could be much more harmful. Are there steps Twitter could take to help discourage such rumors? Not without great risk to the platform itself. As a social media network that thrives on its ability to keep people up to date at a moment’s notice, any attempt to squelch rumor mills would severely hamper its ability to keep providing its much demanded service.
What To Do?
Until Twitter can figure out some way to seamlessly discourage vicious rumors without interfering with its standard service users will simply have to wade through the dearth of silly rumors and misinformation that makes its way onto the service. Thankfully for celebrities like Eddie Murphy, some of us keep the presence of mind to take everything that is said on Twitter or other such social outlets with a grain of salt.