Morgan Freeman died 2012 from an artery rupture according to an R.I.P. Morgan Freeman Facebook page created on August 27, 2012. Freeman's rep responded to the rumors and announced that the actor is "alive and well", according to E! Online.
"Morgan is alive and well, and joins the long list of actors who have been victimized by this hoax," his rep stated.
The death hoax has spread like wild fire over the past few days and the Facebook fan page has racked up 767,000 likes. The "likes" continue to increase daily, despite Morgan's response.
The Facebook page description reads: "At about 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, our beloved actor Morgan Freeman passed away due to a artery rupture. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page."
A similar Facebook page was created not too long ago titled RIP Bill Cosby which attracted over 300,000 likes before the page creator, Jonathan Gorman, announced that it was a complete joke. He also called the people who fell for his false story "stupid" and warned people that he will continue to fake more celebrity deaths.
"I love you all for making me laugh at your stupidity for the past day and a half. You're great," Gorman wrote.
Many users reacted with anger and cursed out the creator, which only fed his ego even more.
Pamela Brown Rutledge, Ph.D., M.B.A., explained in Psychology Today in March 2012, "If information is a source of power and connections are a source of social capital, then a hoax is a manipulation of social power. The costs are significant in terms of lost trust and credibility."
"In Twitter hoaxes, particularly those about celebrity deaths, the perpetrators are counting upon fans' emotional attachment to the celebrities to generate an immediate reaction and override a more measured response of healthy skepticism."
She continued, "While a hoax may strike some as funny, and there are undoubtedly some instances of funny ones that we might commonly refer to as 'practical jokes,' most hoaxes are designed to promote the psychological or commercial interests of the perpetrator at the expense of the victims."
Twitter users have also flooded the Twitter-sphere with mixed reactions to the rumors, some believing that Freeman really is dead, with others defending his life.
@CoralSnake83 tweeted, "My mom just informed me Morgan Freeman passed away. I am the saddest person right now"
@_hannabis_, "Aw I can't believe Morgan freeman died yesterday :( I feel like my grandpa died. #ripmorganfreeman"
Another user @al3xh3nry tried to help clear the rumor by writing, "Morgan Freeman is alive people. Don't always believe what you hear. SMH."
"There's an R.I.P Morgan Freeman Facebook page with 720,000 likes in 3 days. But he's not dead? People believe everything they read. #Crisis" another user tweeted.
@kanes_son wrote, "What is it with these false 'actors dying' stories? Morgan Freeman now? What the hell is wrong with people?"
It looks like we may need Twitter and Facebook police to monitor death hoaxes before they start getting too out of hand.
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