fidel-castro

False reports of Fidel Castro's death spread on Twitter

Jan. 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM ET

AP file /

Judging by Twitter gossip, Fidel Castro must have more lives than your average housecat. Barely a couple of months go by before there is yet another widely spread — and false — report that the former Cuban President has died.

Euronews explains the latest series of rumors included an image of unknown origins, which appeared to show Castro's corpse in a casket. The news site also suggests whoever started the rumor may have done so in order to spread a computer virus, but so far we have not seen any reports of malicious software being linked to the Cuban president this time around.

It's worth noting that in Aug. 2011 — on another occasion that Castro's death was falsely reported — emails with infected video files went around and contaminated anyone curious enough to read something entitled "Fidel is Dead."

As far as we can tell after scouring the news wires and various major news sources, there's not a single confirmed peep about Castro's passing.

So what can you take away from this incident other than the fact that "death by Twitter" is equivalent to "dog bites man" at this point? Just that you should take a second to check on the validity of a claim before adding to the noise. Google before you tweet, folks — it's the new "think before you speak," after all.

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