Rumors circulated overnight that celebrated American icon William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. had died of heart failure. Within hours the rumor snaked its way through various social media outlets including Twitter, where it became a trending topic.
A tip found on Twitter strongly indicated that the origin of this rumor was the result of an online prank. The page on 4chan.org where plans for this prank were formulated, has been deleted. The elaborate hoax included a spoofed CNN website story to lend an appearance of authenticity.
Initial reactions to the news that Bill Cosby had allegedly died were those of shock and disbelief. Strong skepticism gave way to common sense and finally, answers. Response to the hoax itself has been overwhelmingly negative.
It is too soon to know if Mr. Cosby will issue a public statement about this incident, but rest assured that currently it's quite safe to assume that he is alive and well.