The most amazing thing about social networking is the power it has to disseminate information. The terrible thing about social networking is the speed in which it disseminates information, which often leads to false news, and before you know it, Jon Bon Jovi is dead. Or alive.
In a pretty funny response to the rumors, Jon Bon Jovi posted a pic to his Facebook (News - Alert) page of himself holding a sign that says “Heaven is a lot like New Jersey.”
He captioned the snap: “Rest assured that Jon is alive and well! This photo was just taken.”
The news of Bon Jovi’s death 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.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that many of the sentences appeared to be copied from its story on the death of Michael Jackson but emphasized the paper was not involved in the false report.
Bon Jovi and the band performed their Monday night show in New Jersey without a problem, although Bon Jovi actually made several references to the rumor during the performance, reports The Star Ledger. He reportedly quoted Mark Twain, saying that reports of his death have been exaggerated.
People reports that Bon Jovi was not the only celebrity that the Twittersphere thought was dead. After North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il’s death was announced, several people believed rapper Lil’ Kim had died.
It seems that a few users on Twitter (News - Alert) started calling the late dictator Lil' Kim and, like a good game of telephone, it spread like wildfire.
In related celebrity death hoaxes, pronounced dead twice in one day, a viral tweet spread around that Justin Bieber was shot by a publicist in January and then killed in a car accident back in June. He tweeted, “Wait ... turns out I'm alive.”
Jackie Chan was the victim of multiple death rumors in 2011, one in August after a Facebook group was created entitled “R.I.P. Jackie Chan (8/17/11)” featuring a photo of Chan in a tuxedo said he had died and a rumor in April to which Chan quelled rumors himself. “Jackie is alive and well,” Chan posted on his Facebook account. “He did not suffer a heart attack and die, as was reported on many social networking sites and in online news reports.”
Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.
Edited by Jennifer Russell