Social media lit up early Monday with rumors that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner had died. The report is false.
The report originated from the domain NBCToday.co (not the official NBC News website). The fake story reported that Hefner died of natural causes at the age of 88 at his home.
NBCToday.co is a click-bait website, which generates false news stories in order to create traffic. By early Monday, the fake story had received over 100,000 shares on social media.
Late Sunday, Hefner tweeted out a photo described as “Movie night with the family” and later retweeted a tweet about the death hoax.
I Googled @hughhefner and it said he died but still made it to movie night. Lol. The internet is an odd place sometimes.
— Domineek Ellington (@thatdudedneek) December 29, 2014
Crystal Hefner shared a meme on Twitter which addressed the sharing of hoaxes online:
— Crystal Hefner (@crystalhefner) December 29, 2014
Hugh Hefner did not die of natural causes over the weekend. The fake story making this assertion was published by a click-bait news website.