Most breaking news are always reported first on social media before getting into mainstream and according to latest trends, many online users want to be considered the sources of breaking news.
This has led to a number of unconfirmed news that end up causing panic and confusion to the public.
A number of celebrities have at one time woken up ‘dead’ on social media or announced no more as a result of either their medical conditions or having taken some time away from the limelight.
Below are some of the public figures that were pronounced dead by peddlers of fake news on social media.
1. Ken Okoth (Kibra MP)
On Tuesday 9th April, a section of social media users with unconfirmed reports took to their timelines to announce death of the ailing MP.
The outrageous rumors were confirmed fake after the MP who’s serving his 2nd term assured his online followers that he was alive.
“I’m alive and kicking. Folks should stop killing me before my time with rumors” he tweeted.
'I'm alive and kicking. Folks should stop killing me before my time with rumours.'
— Kenneth Okoth, MP Kibra (@okothkenneth) April 9, 2019
A blogger on Twitter, Polycap Hinga, has apologized for ‘killing’ the MP before his time and for posting both fake & misleading news.
2. Phenny Awiti
In December 18th, popular HIV activist Phenny Awiti woke up to news that she’d gone to be with her maker.
Her followers and friends were terrified following numerous posts made by one, Eunice Agai who broke the fake news.
Agai claimed that Phenny was dead and threatened to post photos confirming that the mother of two was no more in case anyone didn’t believe her.
Hours later, Phenny came out to confirm that she was alive and was just attending a wedding that Saturday.
“Goodness gracious! I woke up to Rest In Peace on my timeline and a million texts and voice messages. I just logged in. Attending a wedding. I am fine. I have no idea who killed me on facebook” read her post
3. Conjestina Achieng’
In April 2018, months before boxing icon Conjestina Achieng’ was airlifted from their rural home in Siaya County, rumors spread that she was no more.
This was after she disappeared from the limelight following her prolonged sickness. Her brother through a recorded video later confirmed that the boxer was alive and that the rumors were malicious.
Conjestina was taken for treatment and later to a rehabilitation centre where she has shown good progress on her way to recovery.
4. Comedian Owago Onyiro
Owago Onyiro, a comedian at Laugh Industry’s Churchill Show was also announced dead by a blog.
He later came out to assure Kenyans that he was well and still alive.
5. Onyi Jalamo
In May 2017, singer Onyi Jalamo of the ‘NASA’ hit song was rumored dead, allegations that started from a WhatsApp group he was in.
In no time, lovers of his music were sending messages of condolences to his family and posting his photos on social media.
This turned out fake news after the artist coming out to condemn perpetrators of his ‘death’ when he was still alive.
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