After a pleasant lull, celebrity death hoaxes on social networking Web site Twitter seem to be making a comeback. This time they targetted pregnant actress Reese Witherspoon. The Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama star, insensitive tweets claimed, had died twice over - once in a vicious stabbing and the second time of natural causes.
Witherspoon's name was already trending at the time of the hoaxes because of discussions over her new film The Beard. Predictably, when word of her supposed death leaked, fans were confused and angry.
"Reese Witherspoon is dead?! What??" @Braaaandii tweeted.
"can't believe reese witherspoon is actually dead, my god..." @ilovetea_x exclaimed.
Some others were moved to even greater expressions of sorrow.
Fortunately for the actress' fans, some users came forward to debunk the rumour and calm the Internet.
"@Jessica_Jane_L you know you have made it big time when you start having death rumours, Reese Witherspoon is NOT DEAD," Jessica Jane Lewis said.
Meanwhile, more aggressive fans took it on themselves to attack the unidentified origin of these tweets.
"So you still havn't proved that Reese Witherspoon is dead????" @Queezy_Q tweeted.
Rumours of her Death Were Greatly Exaggerated
The truth was that the actress (and her unborn child) were both absolutely fine and, in fact, was seen shopping with husband Jim Toth at Whole Foods in Santa Monica, California, when the news of her death broke. Incidentally, this is the third time Witherspoon has been linked to a fake death by stabbing! The previous two occasions were in 2006 and 2010.
Taylor Swift Too?
Staying with this gruesome trend, E!Online reported that American singer Taylor Swift has also become the subject of a death hoax on Twitter. The fake news stated the country singer was found dead in her residence. The news was swiftly rebutted by Gossip Cop.
Meanwhile, similar hoaxes hit Twitter in April - this time focusing on R&B singer Usher, claiming the 33 year old died in a car crash. Usher responded to the news by tweeting a photograph of himself with the message: "I must've died and went to heaven...Alive and cold kickin a**!!"
"Never scared, never dead...Just #Lookin 4 myself. Livin legend!" he added.