Vanilla Ice's death hoax spread like wildfire Monday as fans and critics alike thought the former "Ice Ice Baby" rapper died in a car accident. The report turned out to be nothing more than a prank, though, and is reminiscent of the numerous death hoaxes that have generated publicity this year.
Vanilla Ice's death hoax began with a false report from Global Associated News, who originally wrote that he "died in a single vehicle crash" and "was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics." Despite the fact that the site admits it is a fake site at the bottom of the page, many took the report genuinely.
News of Ice's his demise reached family and friends, who tried to reach him. The rapper, whose real name is Robert Matthew van Winkle, was forced to take to social media to stop the onslaught of erroneous information.
"I don't know who's spreading this rumor about me dying in a car crash but - IM ALIVE ! I have like 30 texts, from mom family and friends," wrote Ice on his Twitter account.
He also continued to retweet his followers, who knew from the rapper's active tweeting that he was still alive. In addition, Vanilla Ice appeared in Adam Sandler comedy "That's My Boy" this weekend, which was met with largely positive reviews.
Vanilla Ice's death hoax is part of a larger movement by fake news sources to stir up controversy online. In May, a false French news outlet reported that Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, had died. CNN's Gill Penlington called Thatcher's official representative, who debunked the rumor.
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Unfortunately, in a world of rapid media sharing and social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, misinformation spreads faster— sometimes— than the truth. That's the only way Mikhail Gorbachev, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, and others could all be victims of death hoaxes, with perpetrators remaining relatively unknown.
Click below to see the reason we know Vanilla Ice in the first place: