Rumor that the rapper Kanye West died in a car accident on Tuesday refuted by girlfriend Amber Rose. Despite what you may have read online, Kanye West did not die in a car accident on Tuesday. The rapper is just the latest celebrity to be bitten by fake death rumors, which rapidly spread on Twitter.
At press time, it was unknown where the rumor started, but some were pointing to the image board 4chan.org as the origin of the phony report that West had died in a crash involving two custom cars in Los Angeles. It quickly blossomed into e-mail chains and comment threads on Facebook and Twitter.
Computer security blog Sophos.com tracked the origins of the scam, tying it to hackers who used the rumor to push the false reports to the top of Internet search engine results. By Wednesday morning (October 21), "Kanye West died" (and variations of the phrase) was one of the most-searched topics on Google Trends, MTV.com report.
But not long after the hoax became the top Google search in the U.S. did West's girlfriend Amber Rose put the rumors to rest.
"This 'RIP KayneWest' topic is not funny and it's NOT TRUE," the model tweeted. "He has people like myself and his family that love him very much.
"It's in extreme poor taste to have that as a trendy topic," Rose continued. "It's totally disrespectful to make up a story like this. We're all human and we all make mistakes and to say someone died cuz of a mistake is ridiculous. U wouldn't want someone to say that about u."
Users who searched for more information on the story were redirected to sites distributing spyware, malware and "scareware," according to TheHollywoodGossip.com.
This isn't the first time a celebrity has been the target of morbid rumors.
Just last week, a fake story claiming Zach Braff had committed suicide started making the Internet rounds. Braff responded by making a video of himself denying the story.
"I would never off my self with pills," Braff said in the clip. "If I had to do it, I would do it the way everyone else would do it, by beating myself with pots and pans," New York Daily News reports.