Morning rumors quickly became midday hot searches, as web users speculated about Russell Crowe’s supposed death in Austria. Then Us Weekly made a phone call, and cleared the whole thing up. Which is probably what the first blog should have done. (via Us Weekly)
The rumors started on a radio show Thursday morning, and within hours, Crowe was one of the most searched terms on the Internet. The gossip said that Crowe fell 50 feet off a remote mountain in Kitzbuhel, Austria while filming a movie.
But only a couple hours later, UsWeekly.com was reporting that no, Crowe was not dead. A representative for the 46-year-old star told the magazine that the fiction, which began at New York radio station Z100, was simply “not true.”
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The Crowe rumors, though, which follow in the wake of so many other celebrity death rumors that typically originate and proliferate on Twitter, are yet another reminder of just how important it is to check the facts before running with a story. Gossip like this often originates on a single blog – in this case Seven Sided Cube – and then that blog will be cited as the sole source by others, in spreading the rumors yet wider.
But in this era, where everyone from Jeff Goldblum to Natalie Portman, George Clooney, Britney Spears and Harrison Ford has been pronounced dead prematurely, now is the time for news sites across the world wide web to show some greater discretion in checking the facts. Or at least in making the one phone call that allowed Us Weekly to dismiss the Crowe charade almost immediately.