Reba McEntire's Internet Death Hoax Broke Her Nephew's Heart

Reba McEntire at ACM Awards 2012
Reba McEntire at ACM Awards 2012.
Reba McEntire fans know the country star is alive, well, and co-hosted the ACM Awards 2012 last night. But a few months back, many had a scare when a Twitter rumor began that Reba had fallen off a mountain and died somewhere in Austria. Yeesh! In turn, just as the knee-jerk web is so apt to do, the story spread like a virus, infecting various websites that re-reported the gossip.

The falsehood even made its way to Reba's nephew Trevor, who learned of his aunt's supposed passing when he was buying gas at a convenience store, and he overheard two patrons discussing their shock about Reba's "death." Apparently, Trevor was so devastated and freaked out by what he heard that he suffered a panic attack! Poor kid!

Now, Reba's fighting back.

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The country singer was on The Talk last week, addressing what happened to her nephew and viral death hoaxes. She said, "There are so many of those hoaxes that are just going around and I think it's cruel. That's not funny."

No kidding! It really isn't. We all act like we're so shocked and dismayed when we hear about the passing of a celeb we admired from afar, but can you imagine stumbling upon a rumor about someone you know personally? A best friend, an aunt, a parent?? It would be crushing! And that's how it must feel for the loved ones of these celebs who are the targets of Twitter death rumors. Reba's nephew's story really makes you realize ... these viral lies are more toxic than they seem at first glance.

Just goes to show that double, even triple-checking your sources before spreading something we "read online" never hurt anyone. But jumping to conclusions when re-reporting often does.

Have you ever bought into and re-tweeted/spread an Internet death hoax knowingly or unknowingly?


Image via Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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