Rumors and false information spread quickly and far on the internet, especially through social media platforms. More specifically, death hoaxes have spread like wildfire over recent years – often misleading people while also creating panic among them. We discuss one such death hoax involving Youtuber Gloom here as an example and explore why death hoaxes have gone viral online.
The Gloom Incident: A Reality Check
Kassima Isabelle, better known by her Youtube handle Gloom, is an immensely popular Canadian Youtuber with a massive following on social media platforms such as Youtube and social media forwards. Recently, social media forwards suggested Gloom had passed away – prompting an outpouring of condolences from followers – only for this to turn out not be the case – she is alive and kicking Rumors circulating social media suggested she had succumbed to cancer – this was untrue.
After discovering herself surrounded by death rumors, Gloom released a video called “Signing Off,” dispelling them and clarifying for her followers the importance of fact-checking before believing or sharing information. She also announced she would take a break from social media due to stress from an unexpected condition (later found to be cyst in breast rather than cancer).
Social Media Has Gone Viral With Death Hoaxes
Social media’s ease of sharing information explains why death hoaxes have proliferated online: anyone with access to the internet and a social media account can post anything without needing to verify facts first, leading to widespread panic and fear among its users.
Social media algorithms also play a key role in spreading death hoaxes. Posts featuring captivating titles and content tend to receive more views, likes and shares than others – creating a domino effect with information rapidly spreading far and wide across networks in a short amount of time.
Netizens Have Been Warned of Possible Imminence of Conflict.
Amid an increasing tide of death hoaxes on social media platforms, netizens must take extra precaution when using these channels. Before sharing any sensitive or potentially inaccurate information such as death and health-related posts or hoaxes, always double-check for authenticity of source.
Social media platforms should take steps to prevent the dissemination of fake news and misinformation through policies that prohibit sharing such falsehoods as well as using artificial intelligence algorithms to flag and remove misleading posts from their platforms.
Social media death hoaxes should be taken seriously and fact checked before sharing them, while platforms must take responsibility to counter misinformation spread on their platforms. Together we can make social media safer and more responsible.