Rumors of the footballer’s alleged demise gained traction on Wednesday after a ‘R.I.P. Michael Essien’ Facebook page attracted nearly one million of ‘likes’. Those who read the ‘About’ page were given a believable account of the Ghanaian footballer’s passing:
“At about 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday (July 05, 2017), our beloved footballer Michael Essien passed away. Michael Essien was born on December 3, 1982 in Accra. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”
Hundreds of fans immediately started writing their messages of condolence on the Facebook page, expressing their sadness that the talented 34-year-old footballer was dead. And as usual, Twittersphere was frenzied over the death hoax.
Where as some trusting fans believed the post, others were immediately skeptical of the report, perhaps learning their lesson from the huge amount of fake death reports emerging about celebrities over recent months. Some pointed out that the news had not been carried on any major Ghanaian network, indicating that it was a fake report, as the death of a footballer of Michael Essien’s stature would be major news across networks.
A recent poll conducted for the Celebrity Post shows that a large majority (88%) of respondents think those Michael Essien death rumors are not funny anymore.
On Thursday (July 06) the footballer’s reps officially confirmed that Michael Essien is not dead. “He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” they said.
Some fans have expressed anger at the fake report saying it was reckless, distressing and hurtful to fans of the much loved footballer. Others say this shows his extreme popularity across the globe.
Credit: Media Mass