Carlos Santana is not dead, even though the latest viral death hoax tried to claim the life of the legendary guitarist.
Reports spread this week that Santana had died, with the reports gaining traction on social media like Twitter and Facebook. The rumors grew so quickly that it prompted Santana to actually respond.
He took to Twitter on Wednesday, assuring to fans that he was in fact alive and well.
From Team Santana: Carlos is alive and well and enjoying his morning! Thank you all for your concern, but the… http://t.co/YtS1Ry4c50
— Carlos Santana (@SantanaCarlos) September 30, 2015
The reports sometimes emanate from websites designed to trick readers into thinking the news is legitimate. That was the case for Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was the target of a report claiming that he was found dead.
The news came from a site called MSMBC.co, which is designed to fool readers into believing they are reading the legitimate MSNBC.
But as a close inspection showed, the site was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors and was clearly not a legitimate news story.
The story read (via Snopes):
“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.”
Another report this week claimed that actor and comedian Adam Sandler had taken his life. The report seemed to take details from the 2014 death of Robin Williams and added them into Sandler’s story.
This came just weeks after reports circulated that noted criminal Charles Manson had committed suicide and even left a suicide note.
Like the Schwarzenegger report, the rumors of Sandler’s and Manson’s death appeared to have little substance and no legitimate sources backing any of it up.
But the report that Carlos Santana was dead had a lot more backing. It spread quickly on social media, and even some veteran reporters were fooled by it. CBC reporter Chris Walker tweeted a message about Santana’s alleged death, one that prompted a reply from Santana’s own daughter.
— STELLA (@stellibelli) September 30, 2015
But Walker quickly learned his mistake and apologized to Carlos Santana and his family.
I unreservedly apologize for previous tweets regarding Carlos Santana. Wrong to rely on single source, and against CBC policy besides.
— Chris Walker (@ChrisWalkerCBC) September 30, 2015
Even Santana’s reply is a bit unusual. Celebrity death hoaxes seem to be occurring at a rate of several a week, but generally the celebrities targeted have remained quiet and not spoken out against the rumors. Only once in a great while, either when the reports spread very far and very fast, do celebrities bother to have their representatives take on the rumors.
In Santana’s case, a number of legitimate news outlets also reported on the death hoax, assuring fans that he was indeed alive.
Not only is Carlos Santana far from dead, but the 68-year-old is actually in high demand. He was recently recruited by mogul Emilio Estefan to take part in a star-studded song called “We’re All Mexican.” The song is meant to combat the growing anti-Hispanic sentiment, one that is closely connected to the anti-immigrant movement.
[Picture by Thearon W. Henderson, Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images]