Beloved actress and singer Cher died earlier this week, claimed a social media page that instantly went viral. However, the sultry 70-year-old performer is still very much alive, confirmed her official representatives, adding the actress is in good health. However, some media reports couldn't let the singer live in peace, instead insisting that the aging Cher is dying and planning for her eventual demise. Even though such reports were never confirmed, it's also a fact that a virus she contracted in the 80s could potentially give Cher cancer.
What is the truth? Is Cher dying? We do know for a fact that Cher is the latest celebrity who was killed off by the internet as part of a hoax perpetrated by a Facebook page. Simply entitled "R.I.P Cher," the Facebook page appeared legitimate but was later confirmed to be part of an elaborate hoax that was then perpetuated further by infamous celebrity death hoax site Media Mass.
The page's description didn't offer any detail about the cause of Cher's death and was quite brief.
"At about 11 a.m. ET on Sunday (September 11, 2016), our beloved actress Cher passed away. Cher was born on May 20, 1946 in El Centro. She will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page."
Despite the brevity of the description, the page quickly went viral and attracted nearly one million "likes." Thousands of bereaved fans began posting messages of condolences and expressed grief about the passing of a star. Most of the comments expressed sadness that the multi-talented and versatile performer, who was as great a singer as she was an actor, had died.
While the majority of Cher's fans appeared to have blindly believed the hoax about her passing, there were hundreds of comments that expressed skepticism. Perhaps bitten by the numerous death hoaxes that had recently floated online, hundreds of Cher's fans refused to believe she was dead. However, their comments merely pushed the page's visibility even higher and further, fueling Cher's death hoax.
Interestingly, after Facebook's page had gone viral, micro-blogging social media platform Twitter became abuzz with the death hoax. Re-tweeting the false news merely exacerbated the situation.
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The fact that Cher's death was a hoax became quite apparent after the fact that none of the reputed news platforms had corroborated to the event. Some of her fans used the clear lack of coverage as ample proof that Cher wasn't dead, as such a news would have undoubtedly caused significant ripples in the entertainment industry and nearly all major news across networks would have reported about the same.
Cher "Dying" For Real?
During the summer of 2016, Cher was stated to be "dying, broke, and alone" due to the high medical bills. Cher was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr (EBV), one of the most common forms of the herpes virus, and due to ongoing health problems, she was supposed to be making funeral/estate plans, including splitting up her net worth.
In June, Radar Online went so far as to proclaim that a "dying" Cher was dividing her money among her children since she "knows her time is limited."
"I'd like to say sorry to my children because they had a mother who was totally engrossed in her career," Cher once said.
Such reports seemed unlikely once it was noticed that she was vacationing in Italy during that time frame. However, the data behind the Epstein-Barr virus death rate is nothing to ignore since the virus has been linked to cancer. According to the NCBI, "the combined global burden of deaths in 2010 from all EBV-attributable malignancies was 142,979, representing 1.8% of all cancer deaths." But no official representative for the singer has ever discussed the mere possibility of Cher having cancer, so fans should rest their worries and assume she's quite alive and enjoying life.
The Cher Death Hoaxes Are Not New
Incidentally, Cher has died on the internet quite a few times in the past. While it is not clear why online death hoax creators have such a strange fixation for Cher, she has been dead far more times than other popular celebrities. In fact, a recent poll conducted for the Celebrity Post indicated that a vast majority of people think such death rumors about Cher aren't even funny anymore. It is not clear why, but Cher has been killed nearly each year since 2012. While it is not funny, the tweet about Magaret Thatcher's death was misinterpreted solely because of the hashtag that read #nowthatchersdead. Fans wrongly read it as "now that Cher is dead" and ran amok with it.
The scale of the death hoax was unusually high according to the social media metrics, which forced Cher's official representatives to personally get involved and confirm that the 70-year-old isn't dead.
"She joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. She's still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet."
Celebrity death hoaxes have been flowing quite regularly for the past few weeks. Fortunately, they are being debunked with a lot more alacrity, many-a-times by the celebrity himself. Unfortunately, the hoax creators appear to have a new favorite. Jaden Smith has been killed quite a few times in the recent weeks by the hoax generators.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]