Arnold Schwarzenegger is not dead, but countless people were fooled into thinking the Terminator star had passed away this weekend thanks to a fake news site.
Reports of Schwarzenegger’s death spread this weekend thanks to a report that appeared on a fake news site. The story itself was filled with spelling and grammatical errors, but still went viral and spread across social media.
The report claimed (via Snopes) that Arnold was found dead. All typos were retained.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger was found dead at his Las Angeles [sic], California home. Schwarzenegger was 68 years old.
“Police responded to the L.A. home after receiving a 911 emergency call for a “unresponsive male”. Upon entering the residence, police found Schwarzenegger’s deceased body in his bed.
“We found Mr. Schwarzenegger in his bedroom deceased around 9:30 pm on Wednesday,” said Las Angeles Police Chief James J. Freda [sic] in a brief statement to Local 4 CBS News [sic]. “We found no reason to believe foul play was a factor in his death but intent [sic] to perform a full investigation.”
Sharp-eyed readers learned quickly that the news was fake. The site hosting the story is called MSMBC.co, made to look like a copycat of the real news site MSNBC, and encourages people to submit their own news stories. The result is a mix between obviously faked stories and some real ones, including the death of former NBA star Darryl Dawkins.
Others who checked out the hoax-busting site Snopes would have also seen that Arnold Schwarzenegger did not die, but instead was the victim of an all-too-common hoax.
The report that Arnold Schwarzenegger is dead is not the first time a fake news site has spread a celebrity death hoax. In the last few years, a number of sites have popped up dedicated to spreading fake news that appears real (or at least real enough to generate plenty of clicks and social media shares).
Earlier this year, another MSNBC knock-off called MSNBC Report posted a story claiming that Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose had died. Like the Schwarzenegger story, this one also went viral.
“Unconfirmed reports say Rose was found dead Tuesday late afternoon in his West Hollywood home after police were called around 3:30 pm for a welfare check. The home was entered by police through an open back door where a body was found in the foyer area,” the story read.
Axl seemed to take the news in stride, posting, “If I’m dead, do I still have to pay taxes?” on Twitter. The band’s officials website also used the attention as a chance to filter fans to the website, writing, “Ha! They say I’m dead — again… Wait, what? WTF? It’s a hoax. Guys. Get a life at ParadiseCity.com.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger has not responded to reports of his death.
[Image via Getty Images]