LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Morgan Freeman hasn’t died this September 2012. But a fake Facebook page called “Morgan Freeman Died 2012″ is now prompting demands for changes. This Sunday evening, the Morgan Freeman false death Facebook page has now grown to near one million “likes”, eclipsing any such similar controversy dominating news since 2011.
In 2011, fans got bombarded by the first glaring example of what became the Facebook “RIP” page. At the time, someone created a “RIP Jackie Chan” Facebook page. Jackie Chan was unhappy about the false death reports.
First, in March 2011, Chan had to issue a news statement denouncing the fake Facebook page. His rep told news on March 29 last year “Jackie is alive and well. He did not suffer a heart attack and die, as was reported on many social networking sites [Facebook] and in online news reports.” The rep also told news that “Jackie is fine and is busy preparing for the filming of his next movie.”
On August 17, the Facebook page began a second assault against Chan. Fans at the time demanded a change to Facebook’s policy about “RIP” pages. One wrote “Jackie Chan isn’t dead, I don’t like how anyone can make Facebook pages.” Today, that fake Jackie Chan death account has grown nearly eight hundred thousand likes.
Chan has not been the only celebrity to be struck by a fake “RIP” Facebook page. Beyonce has battled the same. But a year earlier, it was Justin Bieber, battling two attacks in one year alone.
The first attempt against Bieber was in January 2010. A fake RIP Bieber Facebook page resulted in more than twenty-one thousand “likes” at the time. The erroneous page read “In January of 2010, the world lost a beloved soul. Justin Bieber, while attending a club with girlfriend Selena Gomez, got shot by an officer in an altercation. We will never forget this boy or his contributions to music.”
The same controversy struck Justin Bieber a second time on June 8 of that same year. Bieber denounced both such reports.
Yet, the latest attack against Freeman, however, is unlike anything that has surfaced on Facebook since Chan in 2011. On August 27, someone created the fake RIP Morgan Freeman page and wrote “At about 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, our beloved actor Morgan Freeman passed away due to a artery rupture.”
It added “Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”
Despite hundreds of news reports denouncing the Facebook page as false, the page has drawn more than nine hundred thirty thousand “likes” and is still growing. Freeman, like Chan, has told news that he is alive and has denounced the Facebook page.
But fans are now demanding answers as to why these fake pages are allowed to exist. Facebook does state on its site that “Any user may create a Page to express support for or interest in a …. public figure”. The key word perhaps is “support”. While there is nothing supportive about of a celebrity by writing their fake death report, these Facebook pages continue to grow, angering both the fans and the celebrities.
Jackie Chan hasn’t died. Beyonce hasn’t been in a crash. As Morgan Freeman and Justin Bieber are very much alive.