Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher, who is in a critical condition after a skiing accident in France, has become the subject of a celebrity death hoax.
A Facebook fan page - R.I.P Michael Schumacher - has emerged stating that the seven-times Formula 1 world champion is no more. The page has garnered nearly 20,000 likes.
Schumacher's well wishers and fans have expressed their anger at the rumours. Those who posted messages included:
CEASquadraCorse: "Facebook is doing *nothing* against pages/communities etc. named "RIP Michael Schumacher". *Nothing*"
ALewisF1: "Seeing 'RIP Michael Schumacher' pages on DVD is disgusting and just wrong. If you liked it, you are an idiot......"
The 44-year-old German was admitted to the University Hospital of Grenoble, following the accident.
"He suffered head trauma with coma that needed prompt neurosurgical treatment. He remains in a critical condition," Schumacher's agent Sabine Kehm said, according to a statement released by the hospital.
Chain of hoaxes
A death hoax involving Fast & Furious star Paul Walker was swirling around the internet on the eve of his actual demise in a car crash in Los Angeles.
The list of celebrities affected by similar hoaxes is growing all the time, and includes Reese Witherspoon, comedian Bill Cosby, Robert Pattinson, Denzel Washington, Adele, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.
Meanwhile, Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman personally came forward to clear rumours and poke fun at fake stories suggesting he had died, assuring fans he was alive and well.