The internet uttered a collective groan of *pull the other one* today as ‘news’ spread across Twitter that Hollywood star Megan Fox had died. Trending worldwide was the phrase ‘RIP Megan Fox‘, but the sentiment of the tweets was not one of sorrow or mourning, but one of weary resignation to the fact that Twitter had claimed another ‘victim’; its first of 2013.
Megan Fox is – as far as we are aware – still with us, but still the rumour mill continues to spin faster than sanity can redress the balance. As soon as something like this gets any sort of momentum, it snowballs. And whenever people come up with witty 140 character observations about the situation, they are in turn retweeted or copied and re-posted, causing more and more instances of the keyword or phrase to crop up. Unfortunately Twitter hasn’t yet implemented a ‘sarcasm’ algorithm, so it can’t see that the joke is on itself:
If you saw the "RIP Megan Fox" trend and freaked out then you must be new to Twitter because Twitter kills somebody different every week.—
BRUNO (@BrunoPosts) January 03, 2013
The regularity of ‘celebrity deaths’ on Twitter has now reached the point where the micro-blogging site appears to be crying wolf. While everyone seems to be making light of Twitter’s latest victim, is the integrity of the content posted on the site reaching a dangerous tipping point? Given that now some emergency services accept call-outs over Twitter, how long will it be before someone is hurt – or worse – because their cry for help is laughed off as being erroneous and goes unnoticed?