Anatomy of a Hoax: How Jon Bon Jovi’s Fake Death Dominated the Internet - E! Online
By now, you’ve probably all heard the good news: Jon Bon Jovi is alive, well and fresh off a performance last night at a benefit concert in New Jersey.
And yet “jon bon jovi dead” is still, at press time, the No. 1 search on Google!
We know the Internet can fan a rumor like wildfire, and there’s enough to deal with when otherwise legit websites get a story wrong—but seriously, how does a random blogger end up at the center of the biggest story of the day by posting a completely bogus report?
READ: Wanted Alive! Jon Bon Jovi Is Not Dead
Yesterday afternoon, a vigilant Internet user noticed that dailynewbloginternational had posted a story suspiciously titled, “International Rockstar Legend Jon Bon Jovi dead again at 49.”
In addition to the awesome spelling of “rock star,” what is “dead again” supposed to mean? Additionally, this so-called news site was set up via Wordpress, the anybody-can-have-a-blog service.
Regardless, 13 people left comments, only one of them reading “yeah right.” (Yes, the other 12 were all of the shocked, RIP variety.)
READ: Hoaxing 101: How to Fake a Celebrity Death
• Seemingly moments later, #bonjovidead was trending off the charts.
Only a few moments after that, Bon Jovi, his rep and his family were bombarded with calls, texts and emails, and the story quickly revealed itself to be not comfirmable. But for awhile, no one could save him, the damage was done…
“Unbelievable…RIP JBJ,” tweeted real, live celebrity Malin Akerman. “Cheers to many fond memories thanks to you. You will be greatly missed. wp.me via @wordpressdotcom.” (Yup, she linked to the bogus blog and everything.)
After thousands of more tweets in that vein, the hash-tag reporting ultimately turned into #bonjovideathhoax.