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