News that popular comedian Bill Cosby had died spread across the Internet earlier this week, causing concern with his fans around the world, though it has since been confirmed to be a hoax, according to Media Mass, a web site devoted to creating fake news stories.
The death hoax is the latest in a long string of celebrity death hoaxes that have included victims such as Michael J. Fox, Adam Sandler and Paula Deen perpetrated by the fake media site Media Mass.
They claim that on Tuesday, a 'R.I.P. Bill Cosby page showed up on Facebook, attracting almost one million 'likes.' In the 'about' section of the page, there was an account of the comedian's passing.
"At about 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, our beloved comedian Bill Cosby passed away," the page read, according to Media Mass. "Bill Cosby was born on July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia.
"He will be missed but not forgotten," it continued. "Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page."
According to Media Mass, fans began writing messages of condolences immediately, though many were skeptical of the report. There are multiple R.I.P. Bill Cosby pages on Facebook, all started in 2012 when Cosby was the victim of a previous death hoax.
There have been so many recent fake celebrity deaths, that fans are beginning to question reports that aren't verified by reputable news sources, which many fans point out, realizing that the death of a comedian as well known as Bill Cosby would be reported on the major networks. Cosby has already had multiple fake deaths, which he spoke about in an appearance on the "Today" show, stating his disapproval of the hoax. He had already been through four at that point. The interview aired in August 2010.
On Wednesday, Media Mass claims Cosby's reps officially confirmed that he wasn't dead, though there is no evidence of this.
"He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax," the official statement said, according to Media Mass. "He's still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet."
Many fans are angry and hurt, finding the hoaxes to be reckless and distressing to fans. Cosby himself stated, during his appearance on the "Today" show, that hoaxes of this type are "doing damage" to people for no reason.
Bill Cosby talking to Meredith Vieira on the "Today" show.