So now, a full day after this whole thing got underway, the top comments on “Hotline Bling,” now with 17 million views, are a bunch of “RIP Drake” messages.
It escalated. Someone wrote a Buzzfeed community post “reporting” Drake’s death in a fatal car crash, and that post fell into the Internet’s distribution machine — until the post was eventually deleted (the URL now displays an editor’s note explaining that “a BuzzFeed community user posted a false claim about the musician Drake to this space”). For a brief period of time, Drake’s Wikipedia entry said that the rapper died on Nov. 22:
The 4Chan subreddit then started discussing the whole thing. Although thoroughly debunked, rumors of Drake’s death in a car crash will continue to echo for a few days. Oh well.
Everybody, even Drake, will die some day. But celebrities like Drake, the guy from Blue’s Clues, and a bunch of others seem destined to “die” in a social media hoax whenever the wind is right, and someone is bored. This isn’t even the first death hoax involving Drake — he was the victim of mildly successful death hoaxes at least twice in 2012.
4Chan’s users have a long history of using the Internet’s speed against itself, to spread false information as far as it will go. Sometimes it’s funny; sometimes it’s malicious. But something about this Drake prank just feels so pedestrian, you know? Or maybe that’s The Intersect’s weariness with the Internet’s infinite capacity for spreading hoaxes.
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