The Internet laid Hollywood actor and former WrestleMania star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to rest after false reports of his death went viral. The hoax story’s headline read: “BBC: Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson Dies at 47 After A Terrible Stunt Attempt Failed". The link even included the BBC logo; however, it led to a fake news website.
Is it true that the rock is dead ?😥😥pic.twitter.com/S25tWpeokO— vincent Iorliam (@vincent68688919) November 15, 2019
The hoax caused a flood of tweets, with one half of netizens mourning the actor and expressing condolences to his family, while the other half wondered whether the story was true.
What?? The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson is dead what an impact that will be over WWE and all his fans prayers to his family🙏🙏— Nicky west (@NickyBestNWest) November 14, 2019
The actor has not yet commented on the news.
Johnson is alive and kicking and has even posted an Instagram story about a fan who presented him with a beaded version of one of his film posters.
Incidentally, this is at least the fourth time that The Rock has been buried by the Internet. In 2011, Johnson “died” after doing a stunt for the Fast & Furious movie. That time, the hoax was attributed to Fox News. After the story went viral, The Rock rushed to social media to quash the rumours. The same fake stories re-emerged again in 2014 and in 2017.
Celebrity death hoaxes appear on the Internet quite regularly. Last year, Sylvester Stallone, whom Internet trolls apparently love to bury too, “passed away” after a long battle with prostate cancer. In 2012, we lost singer Cher and Kim Kardashian helped Internet trolls by tweeting to her multimillion army of followers about the passing. The list of “killed” celebrities includes: actors Russel Crowe, Rowan Atkinson, Will Smith, musicians Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, and Kanye West.
Sometimes netizens embarrass themselves by confusing people living celebrities with those who have passed away. Thousands fans of the Game of Throne series mourned its creator George R.R. Martin in 2016, although it was George Martin the music producer who worked with the Beatles who had in fact died. In the same manner, the Internet mistook music producer and DJ David Zowie for rock legend David Bowie, who passed away in 2016. Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman was mistaken for South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader Nelson Mandela, because the two apparently look very much alike.
When UK singer George Michael died in 2016, US actress Sarah Michelle Gellar rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to…Boy George, saying she was “truly one of the biggest fans”.
And for the record yes I completely know the difference between Boy George and George Michael- I heard incorrectly. My intentions were good— Sarah Michelle (@SarahMGellar) December 26, 2016