Actor Will Smith died while filming a movie in New Zealand early this morning - September 1, 2014.
Preliminary reports from New Zealand Police officials indicate that the actor fell more than 60 feet to his death on the Kauri Cliffs while on-set. Specific details are not yet available.
The accident occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. (UTC/GMT +12).
Hoax or Fact:
The story shared widely online states that popular Hollywood actor Will Smith has died in an accident in New Zealand while filming a movie. The claim is a hoax. In fact, various such death stories of Will Smith have been around online since many years. So today, let us analyze why the actor's death hoaxes do not die!
The current story purporting to report the death of Will Smith in an accident in New Zealand originated from a satirical article on Mediafetcher.com that presents itself as 'Global Associated News'. In past, the same website has reported such death and accident stories of Jackie Chan and Ray Lewis as well. No surprise, there are no reports in mainstream or local media about Smith dying. As of this writing, Will Smith is very much alive and working on his movies. But unfortunately, Will Smith has been a frequent victim of various such death hoaxes.
In an article published on 1 Sep. 2014, MediaMass.net presents itself as if they are debunking the death hoax of Will Smith in 2014. But apart from the fact that Will Smith is not dead, most other incidents reported in the article are incorrect or inaccurate. MediaMass has been reporting many such clever debunking stories of several other celebrity death hoaxes. As reported in the description of their website, "The website mediamass.net is the medium of our satire to expose with humour, exaggeration and ridicule the contemporary mass production and mass consumption that we observe."
Social Media Pranks
In early March 2014, hoaxers on Twitter and Facebook came up with messages saying the actor is dead and “RIP Will Smith”. The death hoaxes seem to have originated from many fake TMZ accounts (Twitter & Facebook), which do mention they are parody: “This account is a PARODY! The news on this account isn’t real!”
Rogue Facebook Apps
Since few years, hoax stories of the popular actor Will Smith have also been exploited by scammers who sometimes design rogue Facebook apps. Mentioned below are couple of stories that circulated on Facebook in the past:
1. WILL SMITH Died While Filming A Deadly Stunt for "Bad Boys 3"
Watch the video on how Will Smith died. Share this video to show respect..
2. Hollywood Press: Will Smith has just been pronounced dead after undergoing an immediate spinal surgery caused by an accident while filming Hancock 2 (2014). The negligence of the doctor with medication overdose was blamed to be the cause of his death.
Watch the full video of CCTV cam installed in the operating room where he was admitted: <Link>
As you can see in pictures in Image Gallery, these messages on Facebook claim to show death video of the actor Will Smith and require user to like, share or install the rogue app that takes access of the account of unsuspecting user and posts on his behalf. No wonder there won't be any video, and apart from compromising the security of Facebook account, the links in such scam posts may also download malicious software to your computer. In case you have installed any such rogue apps, you can delete them by following Facebook's instructions.
So whenever you see any such videos or messages with compelling headlines, be careful before clicking them and look for authentic news sources on web.