The internet as the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
That's what this situation reminds me of, as I see that the number one search term on Google right now is "Brittany Murphy Death Hoax."Â I spend a fair amount of time looking at the Trends, and I can tell you that 9 out of 10 times you see an "X-celebrity is dead" trend appear, it's a hoax.Â Britney Spears, Will Smith, and others have all suffered mostly web-based rumors of their untimely demises.Â I'm predicting a much wider freak-out the first time a fake "barack obama dead" trend jumps to the top of the list.
If this was a hoax, it would be would have uncovered by now.Â Or one would think so, but given our experience with "Balloon Boy," we know easily the media can be totally fooled, if only for a few days.
But this is nothing like that.Â I think sane celebrities know that committing a hoax like this would anger the public and media, not endearing them to anyone.Â And there's no reason to believe Brittany Murphy would do something like this.