American actor and rapper Jaden Smith is not dead. The 18-year-old son of Hollywood stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith is the latest victim of celebrity death hoax.
Rumours that The Karate Kid had committed suicide started doing rounds on Facebook after a website released a "news story" and asked the readers certain app permissions before allowing to view the content. Such websites create content that can contain viruses, damaging your computer and also use your Facebook profile without your knowledge.
However, Jaden is alive and well, and is currently busy promoting his forthcoming Netflix series, The Get Down. Numerous celebrities have been at the receiving end of similar hoaxes, and the list keeps growing. In the past, people have tweeted about the deaths of Bill Cosby, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Margaret Thatcher, Phil Collins, Kris Jenner, Denzel Washington, Adele, John Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.
How to differentiate between factual news from hoax and parodies in social media sites.
- Stay away from news titles that sounds too outrageous - "exclusive," "shocking" or "sensational." One can check if the news is satire or parody by visiting the About Us/ Disclaimer section.
- Always cross-check with both local and international news agencies. If a news is true, major publications and the mainstream media would cover it.