What a time to be alive, especially when thousands of people think you're dead.
Last night, users on the notorious 4Chan site convinced some of the biggest media outlets in the world that Drake had passed away.
After first beginning in the comments section of his "Hotline Bling" video, the rumor that the 6ix God died in a car accident in Los Angeles eventually migrated across media channels before finding its way onto the front pages of Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, and even CNN.
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The internet is a weird place, made weirder by the fact that even huge media companies have long since fired their fact-checkers and now rush to get up posts with reckless abandon. And so it really shouldn't be a surprise that a faux news story has once again fooled the home of Don Lemon. Really though, aren't we as a contemporary, digitally-centric society by now conditioned enough to at least do a Google search when we see something hard to believe?
Of course, this report of a celebrity death is only the latest in a long line of reports that certain artists, movie stars or general personalities have passed away. It's something that also goes beyond the internet age. In their heyday, many thought that the Beatles' Paul McCartney had passed away and been replaced with a doppelganger. The difference being most media outlets at the time had the sense to at least reach out to his publicist before running the story on their front page.
Some recent fake death reports include Avril Lavigne, who has a particularly complicated backstory to her own artificial demise, complete with allegedly being replaced by an actress. So far this year alone, Will Smith, Ricky Martin, Miley Cyrus, and Willie Nelson have all met their less-than-true demises.
Stay woke, news outlets. You're better than this.