A “news” story circulating on Facebook which reports the “death” of singer Celine Dion is not only a fake report, but it is also a malicious Facebook app.
Fake News Link
Links spotted this week on Facebook are accompanied by a fake news story that Dion died in a “private plane crash.” The story is false, and the “CNN” or “Fox News” video link provided will actually take the reader to a malicious Facebook app which, when installed, will then re-post the same false story on that reader’s behalf.
The “news story” which often accompanies this fake link reads:
(Hollywood Breaking News) – R.I.P Celine Dion At about 11 a.m. ET on Sunday (October 20, 2013), Celine Dion died in a plane crash. The culprit for the story is Global Associated, aka Mediafetcher. “Celine Dion presumed dead in private plane crash”, Global claims that Celine died today at “Denver Peak-Regional Airport”. a small private aircraft in distress ceased radio contact with the control tower and fell below radar frequency after reporting engine trouble and smoke in the cockpit. Actress, Celine Dion was believed to have been a passenger on the flight. Raw footage of her accident has been recorded and leaked to fox news but cannot be broadcasted over the air so it was uploaded via the internet for the public to view. Due to the graphic content of this video, please be advised 18+ only. Watch Full Exclusive Video–>
The “breaking news” above cites Mediafetcher, which is a website that allows users to fill in celebrity names and generate fictional news stories. (Not to mention the use of the word “broadcasted” which is generally recognized as an incorrect past tense form of “broadcast.”)
Celine Dion Responds
In a November 2013 interview with Digital Spy, the singer responded to the death hoax:
“Sometimes it’s freaky because I have to call my family about it. I was celebrating the birthday of my twins in Montreal and I was getting these phone calls saying there was stuff on Facebook that I was dead.
The thing that worries me is my mom. It makes me a little mad – she’s 86 years old and if I’m not on the phone telling her I’m OK four seconds after it’s on the news… it doesn’t matter what they say, it’s the impact it has on your family.”
What to do
If you’ve installed this app, see Facebook’s instructions for removal: How do I remove a game or app that I’ve downloaded? If you installed it by clicking on a link posted by a friend, you may also want to inform them about how to remove the app.
Celine Dion did not die in a plane crash. The link posted will not display a video, but instead will install a malicious Facebook app.
Updated November 9, 2013