Nicolas Cage reportedly died yesterday from a serious snowboarding accident. Hours later, the news was followed by a conflicting story that Cage’s death was an internet hoax. Several websites posted the death of the actor on January 17. The news spread quickly on social hubs like Twitter and Facebook, with fans expressing their sadness. Social network traffic quickly changed to stating that Cage’s death was a hoax started by a website. The source was unclear at first but one report leads to a website named fakeawish.com– a site that generates fake celebrity death stories.
Upon opening fakeawish.com, one would simple enter a name and choose the gender of the victim, and it will automatically show six options of stories of how the person dies. It works for any name even for non-actors. Click on the kind of death you prefer for your victim and it will lead open what looks like a news website with the whole story. This story can easily be shared through Twitter and Facebook accounts.
It is a pretty smart program but one can’t help wonder how a potentially destructive hoax with “lawsuit” written all over it exists and allowed to operate. It may be funny for the developers and to people out to take revenge on their enemies, but nonetheless inconsiderate and cruel. Things like fake death news that can rapidly spread on the internet and viewed by millions are not funny at all.
The website also shows a Celebrity Hoax Hall of Fame. Actors who are in the hall of fame are Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler, who both supposedly died in a snowboard accident like Nicolas Cage; Woody Harrelson, who was in a car crash in Australia and Tiger Woods, found dead at a resort in the Dominican Republic.
Fakeawish.com does warn people that it is meant to hoax people. The words “Celebrity fake news hoax generator” on top of “fakeawish.com – Punking Mass Media Since 2002” are well-shown in bold capital letters for jokers to see. They also have the option for disabling the names of those previously hoaxed.
The internet can both be a curse and a blessing to the society. It does connect people but it can also instigate conflicts. Nicolas Cage may have not been affected by the death hoax and some people may have taken it funny but there have been internet hoaxes that have led to unpleasantries like lawsuits, violence and even suicide.