Will Smith is not dead, so why won’t the actor’s death hoax die?

Why those searching for answers must navigate through false stories both "confirming" and "debunking" the actor's demise.

Will Smith is alive, contrary to death hoax rumors that continue to circulate in increasing numbers. Even articles "debunking" the actor's death are sometimes hoaxes, too. Today we'll take a close look at why the convoluted Will Smith death hoax has thrived over the past several months.

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Malicious Facebook App

In late October 2013, a malicious Facebook app began spreading, using a fake news headline regarding the “death” of Will Smith. It claimed the actor died while filming the movie Hancock 2. The fake news story contained a graphic that read “R.I.P. Will Smith, 1968-2013″ The false report read:

Hollywood Press: Will Smith has just been pronounced dead after undergoing an immediate spinal surgery caused by an accident while filming Hancock 2 (2014). The negligence of the doctor with medication overdose was blamed to be the cause of his death. Watch the full video of CCTV cam installed in the operating room where he was admitted: (Link Removed)

Concerned fans took the bait and clicked the fake news link in droves, which secretly installed a rogue Facebook app. This malicious app would then post the same fake story on their behalf, thus spreading the hoax to new unsuspecting readers.

If you suspect that such an app has been installed, follow the directions below to remove it.

How to Remove a Facebook App

You can remove a Facebook app by going into “Account Settings” and selecting “Apps” on the left side of the screen. Here you can simply click the “x” next to the app to remove it completely. It’s a good idea to revisit this page on occasion to get rid of unwanted or unused apps.

MediaFetcher

To further add to the confusion regarding Will Smith, some users in their attempts to find out about Smith’s status stumbled across the fake news generator Media Fetcher, which also falsely reports Smith’s death while filming a movie. This news generator constantly plugs in the current date, giving their fake content “breaking news” status. MediaFetcher’s fake story reads:

Actor Will Smith died while filming a movie in New Zealand early this morning – January 20, 2014
Preliminary reports from New Zealand Police officials indicate that the actor fell more than 60 feet to his death on the Kauri Cliffs while on-set. Specific details are not yet available.

The accident occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. (UTC/GMT +12).

MediaMass

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Some well-intended fans found and shared an article “debunking” Smith’s death, published by the “satirical” website MediaMass. That site, however, publishes the same story for hundreds of celebrities. Aside from the fact that Smith’s death reports are indeed a hoax, nothing else contained in the MediaMass article has any shred of truth to it. You can, in fact, read the same “debunking” article on that site for other living celebrities such as Hillary Clinton or Nicolas Cage.

For more info, read our full review of MediaMass.

Google Trends “Will Smith Dead”

A look at Google Trends for the search phrase “Will Smith Dead” shows the frequency of recent searches began increasing in late October 2013. Additional peaks also occurred around November 3 and December 1. A significant increase in this search phrase occurred in January 12, 2014.

smith-death-hoax

 

If we expand the search (below), we can see that two other Will Smith death hoaxes occurred in May 2011 and again in November of that year.

will-smith-dead

 

Bottom Line

Will Smith, as of this writing, is alive and well. Those seeking validation of reports of the actor’s death must wade through a quagmire of false information both “confirming” and “debunking” his demise. You can be rest assured that if such a tragic event were to occur, it would be headline news on every major media outlet minutes after any such announcement.

If you see a link claiming to be a news story reporting the death of Will Smith, avoid the temptation of clicking it, as this will only add to the proliferation of the hoax.

Have you seen a Will Smith death report? Tell us where you saw it in the comments below.

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  • venessa

    I am a big fan of will smith but i lnow that he is not dead and is still alive

  • Zanele

    Will Smith is not dead

  • Zanele

    I was shocked when I heard about will Smith death

  • thobile

    I was also shocked while one of my friend told me abt Will Smith death and thank God if it not true I’m a big fan

  • Cal me Y

    Pple r f-d up y wld any1 lie bou sm1s death…

  • Jennifer Angrimson

    People need to stop posting such articles. Even a hoax scares loyal fans. So they really need to stop!!!! The site would stop if they were given a huge fine… Hit em where it hurts and it will stop!!!!

  • Enhle

    Can will smith plz make a pres con telling us de fanz det hiz not dead will mean a lot to us coz we hav nt cn him since de death hoax

  • Chioma

    thank God Will is alive, my heart skipped when i saw hs death news

  • David

    Sick Minded People have ”NOTHING BETTER TO DO” NEED TO BE BANNED FROM THIS AND EVERY SITE THEY DISRESPECT???? Dave,Reedsport,OR.

  • Aschlin

    I don’t think he is dead. It’s only a rumour!

  • Janet Paxina

    i pray it is not the truth i have loved Will Smith
    since kinder garden.

  • teboho mofokeng pitbull

    guys i am really not going to believe that will smith is dead but i know he is dead i am a biggest fan of w;s

  • Kim

    Ran into a FaceBook Status of the MediaFetcher one mentioned here and rather then clicking it i went to google and found it to be false 2/14/2014

  • http://Yahoo.com Ititim glory

    Am rily grateful to GOD dat d news of Will Smith been dead is all false. Lenght of days n longlife will GOD give 2 him in JESUS NAME AMEN.

  • eddie king

    to all will smith fans. will smith is alife is jus the lies of the devil if hes really death stations like CNN and BBC,VOA etc will carries the news its all fake news from the pit of hell. thank you

  • carolyn sweetthang gloveR

    Stop telling lies about people being dead, get yourself some help, who the hell you are, you sick puppy. !!!

  • rÀsheedat nd kolzzy

    I pray he iz not dead…plz if it iz a rumour a conference should be held to enable fanz no whatz up…we love ya..NIGERIA…

  • phillips

    Does it mean that hoax can not be sued. how can they someone is dead when he is still alive

  • Chika joe

    I know it’s a lie when i heard it. My day almost go sour the day the news broked out. Will, declare yourself to us your FANS via the press.

  • modupe

    that was very sick of the guys who posted that article.

  • Mobolaji

    I got the facebook message that Will Smith was dead, but instead of clicking on the news and video links, I decided to google it, I’m so glad he’s still alive.

  • shukrahn selemanie

    jxt not sure if he is rily dead but ope he is alive…..totally luv w;s

  • Tiffany

    Great article! I ran across the “dead headline” this afternoon on Facebook. It leads you to accepting fox for a “news now” in permissions. I don’t agree with Fox news enough I clicked no and bounced off to search the validity.

    Recent hoax said it was a deadly stunt while shooting bad boys 3.

  • jeff

    I don’t believe that Mr Willard “Will” Smith is dead, its all lies.

  • Denrele ajayi

    Willard Smith, you shall not die but live to declare the GLORY of God.

  • Devin

    I don’t believe Will smith is dead until I see it with my eye

  • Adrianna Ordiway

    Why do peoples put horses online just to make them tell everybody

  • Jessica Harris

    Saw it just now on facebook. Reminded me of a similar one about Jackie Chan.

  • steven

    Is all this another movie or real cus I just can’t believe that this is true cus I saw him yesterday and we were together but I guess that was in my dream

  • Kathy Williams

    I love Will Smith as his fan he is amazing. It is so wrong and immoral to begin a tragic rumor. It’s evil. I don’t believe a person would want someone to state rumours of whoever is responsible for his death. It’s the weekend and a rumour is spread about everyones favorite employee died Saturday morning of an anuerism. All their friends and family think he or she is dead. That’s horrific. I hope this person who is demented gets punished or otherwise brought to justice.

  • Randi

    newsworld.pw on Facebook claims Will Smith died whole filming Bad Boys 3. I guess there is a video. I never watch them. I always google to see if they are a hoax.

  • Mashungmi Raihing.

    Happy happy Will Smith is not dead.He is doing good. May our good God always be with you.

  • sarah

    hello will i am from nigeria i am happy that you are not dead you will live longer than 90 years so god be whit you . you are the fresh prince of belle.

  • sarah

    fin