LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Harry Styles is not dead. Harry Styles and One Direction are battling a fake death report surfacing online today. The Harry Styles confusion stemmed from someone using a leading website’s template, photo shopping in a fake death report, and thereafter sending the message via Twitpic. Fans are not pleased by the confusion.
Harry Styles is perhaps the first One Direction member to battle a death report this year. But Styles is battling a death report unlike anything in recent memory. The report surfaced online today via a fake twitpic. The report falsely claims to originate from Australia.
The fake report first took a template of a leading Australian news site. Ironically, however, the fabricator didn’t chose a template from today. Rather the author took a template dated “Sunday April 1, 2012″ at 1:32 am to proclaim that Styles died today, April 14.
Under the “entertainment” section, the author then wrote “One Direction loses One Member, but the Tour goes on”. The fake report features an image of two ambulances with their lights flaring, attending to an unidentified person.
If the date of the article was not suspect enough, even the social reaction is absurd. The fake story claims that no one carried that Styles “dead”, with only twelve people sharing the story, worldwide.
The first two sentence of the fake report make no sense.The first reads “Known for the hair and eyes that drove girls crazy.” The second adds “Harry Styles was reported dead only moments ago.”
The article then claims “Only two weeks before the band was expected to tour in Australia, a dangerous car accident had Harry on life support.” It added “Doctors and Specialist fought to keep Harry alive but were unlucky”.
The fake death report today is similar to fake Beyonce RIP Facebook page from November 2011 and the fake Twitpic dead of August 2011. Both used templates to confuse fans, sending the fake images not via link but via Twitpics.
In August 2011, Beyonce suffered a new breed of fake death reports fueled by Twitpics and Photoshop. Someone that weekend took a picture of Beyonce, then took a screengrab of a leading news website. With the use of Photoshop, they inserted Beyonce’s picture into the screengrab and added the caption that Beyonce had died. They then tweeted the Twitpic. Fans who saw the picture believed they were looking at a real, current screengrab of the website announcing Beyonce’s death.
Then in November, Beyonce was the victim of fake RIP page. One person on the RIP page wrote of Beyonce’s fake death that it’s “so sad, indie punk will never be the same”. Another wrote “RIP Beyonce death metal will never be the same”.
Harry Styles is alive, Lil Wayne is doing well, and David Guetta hasn’t crashed on Route 80 on in Zermatt today.