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Dave On Wheels is the nickname of David Rose, a fictional blogger who writes about living with cerebral palsy. David Rose gained notoriety shortly after The Chive published screenshots of his Twitter account in October 2012, when a tweet message from Rose’s sister was posted on his blog announcing that Rose had passed away. The blog was soon revealed to be a hoax.
The now-deleted blog Dave On Wheels was created in August 2012 to chronicle the life of a young deaf man suffering from cerebral palsy, a series of disabling motor disorders. In October 2012, two users of The Chive, Sarah Hill and Erin Willet tipped off Chive editor John to Dave On Wheels’ Twitter account, which had 8 followers at the time. On October 8th, 2012, John posted a collection of screenshots (shown below, left) from Rose’s Twitter, followed by a group photo of Chive staff holding up a sign reading “Chive On, Dave!” (shown below, right). The post was shared on Facebook 1.7 thousand times and garnered more than 180 comments.
In the first 24 hours after the Chive post, Dave On Wheels gained more than 7500 Twitter followers. The following day, the Chive posted a second set of his tweets, noting that his sister’s account, NicholeRose85 had tweeted that Rose had fallen ill. By October 11th, Rose had allegedly slipped into a coma, as his sister updated his blog to note he may not make it through the night. Later that day, a blog entry titled “Three Friends And A Whole Lot More” was posted, allegedly written by Rose on October 8th in case he passed away from pneumonia.
The day he passed away, there were nearly 1100 mentions of his handle on Twitter. In the days following, his blog post began circulating the web with stories appearing on Radar Online, the New York Daily News, British tabloid the Mirror, the Huffington Post and ABC News, where it was later retracted. Reality star Kim Kardashian also tweeted a quote from his post, which was retweeted 4768 times in a day.
On October 15th, a blogger known as Kristi-Anne launched a blog entry titled Dave-On-Wheels Exposed, noting that they became suspicious after thinking about how Rose would be able to communicate via sign language with cerebral palsy. After doing a reverse image search of a photo of Rose available on his Facebook page, she uncovered that the photos were taken from two separate articles about a man named Hunter Dunn from Danville, Virginia.
45 minutes after the blog post went up, several comments from Nichole Rose’s Blogspot account were posted, in which the person revealed that he was an older man and David Rose was just a character he made up in 2007. He did not expect the character to ever gain internet fans and after he did, the blogger did not want to keep up the ruse. He apologized to the fans he hurt, specifically Sarah Hill and Erin Willet, as well as to Hunter Dunn. The same day, The Chive published selections from post Kristi-Anne’s findings, noting their dismay with the revelation.
New York Daily News – ‘Dave on Wheels,’ deaf quadriplegic, pens online goodbye before dying from pneumonia
The Huffington Post – David Rose Dead: Deaf Quadriplegic Twitter Sensation Dies After Inspiring Battle
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