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News of Paterno’s Demise Greatly Exaggerated on Social Media

January 22, 2012

By Cynthia Herbert :: 9:36 PM

Joe PaternoNo, he’s not dead.

At least not according to a family spokesperson, who went on the record just before 9:00 PM tonight to say that ex-Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was not dead.

Paterno, who is in the hospital for complications from lung cancer, is the latest victim in the quick spread of false death news via social media. Last month it was Jon Bon Jovi, who had to send out a picture of himself holding a sign that read, “Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey” before fans would believe the truth.

Some outlets are still showing headline of Paterno’s death on Google news – see the Allentown Morning Call below:

Beginning around 8:35 PM, Twitter became, well, all atwitter with news of his death. Popular news outlets, including several right in State College reported on the news. The AP appeared to be the first to correct the news, and tweet out that the death was false, and they did so around 9:15.

Filed under → Celebrity, Social Media, Twitter