Miley Cyrus Death Hoax

Miley Cyrus Death Hoax

Part of a series on Miley Cyrus. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jul 21, 2014 at 03:36PM EDT by Don.

Added Jul 21, 2014 at 02:09PM EDT by Don.

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Overview

Miley Cyrus Death Hoax are fabricated rumors concerning the death of recording artist Miley Cyrus, which are often spread on Facebook by malware, phishing and survey scam websites.

Background

In September 2008, members of Anonymous circulated an internet death hoax rumor that Cyrus had been killed in a car accident. The rumor was paired with a screenshot of a fake Yahoo! News story[1] and persisted via edits to her Wikipedia page and a front-page link on Digg (shown below).



Notable Developments

August 2013

According to Snopes,[2] a fake news story reporting that Cyrus had committed suicide circulated via Facebook as early as August 2013 (shown below). The story included a link to websites containing survey scams, malware or phishing pages that could compromise the viewer’s Facebook account.



October 2013

On October 2nd, 2013, an anonymous user of 4chan‘s /b/ (Random) board initiated a rumor that Cyrus had contracted AIDS (shown below), suggesting that the diagnosis of a potentially terminal illness is the reason behind the singer’s recent breakup with actor Liam Hemsworth and her controversial stage performances. Though it was short-lasted, the hoax led to the use of the hashtag #CureForMiley on Twitter to draw attention to the campaign.



July 2014

On July 19th, 2014, a screenshot of Cyrus laying down next to a spilled bottle of prescription medication from a video titled “Blonde SuperFreak Steals the Magic Brain”[3] began circulating online with the headline “{SHOCKING} Miley Cyrus Found Dead In Her Los Angeles Home!” (shown below). According to the Epoch Times,[10] the hoax was primarily spread on Facebook via a survey scam website.



On the following day, the celebrity news blog Hollywood Life[4] reported that Cyrus was aware of the story and found it “pretty funny.” In the coming days, the hoax was reported on by several other news sites, including The Huffington Post,[5]MTV,[6] The Independent,[7] International Business Times[8] and Crushable.[9]

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