From Reader's Digest.
Following the death of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher earlier this month, the memorial hashtag #nowthatchersdead began trending worldwide. But it didn't take long before Tweeters misread the missive as "Now that Cher's dead," improbably plopping the still-living "Life After Love" artist into the center of the Internet news mill for a day.
One of America's earliest tabloid media fails occurred in 1897, when Mark Twain was mistakenly reported dead instead of his ailing cousin. Twain was assumed dead a second time in 1907 when reporters briefly lost track of him on a steam ship voyage from Virginia to New York. Twain's twin brushes with the grave prompted him to later pen one of his most enduring one-liners: "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
To hear the Internet tell it, Justin Bieber has committed suicide (2009), been shot to death in a nightclub (January 2010), suffered a fatal drug overdose (June 2010), and just straight-up kicked the bucket (May 2012 - via an unexplained "RIP Justin Bieber" Twitter trend). Such hoaxes have become routine in the age of Internet stardom.
Rap mogul Lil Wayne actually did end up in a Los Angeles hospital after suffering a seizure this March, but reports that he was being administered his last rites were straight-up trash talk. Weezy tweeted the same afternoon "I'm good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love," and will begin touring his newest album (ominously titled I Am Not A Human Being II) in July.
When crime-writer Agatha Christie went missing from her Berkshire estate for 11 days, friends and family feared the worst. Over 15,000 volunteers were sent to scour the countryside for the presumed-dead author. Turns out Agatha had stormed off and gone into hiding to begrudge her adulterous husband.