The latest victim of a celebrity death hoax is Formula One icon Michael Schumacher, who is in a critical condition after a skiing accident in France. A company called Global Associated News is accountable for most of the fake reports and death hoaxes. The counterfeit news Web site Fake a Wish is the brainchild of Atlanta-based computer wizard Rich Hoover which allows users to put a famous person's name into a generator that produces celebrity death hoaxes.
Reuters File photo of Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher skiing in the northern Italian resort of Madonna Di Campiglio
"It started off as a practical joke machine seven years ago. People can just plug in anybody's name so then they'll prank their friends. But people don't read the fine print, and sure enough, it spreads like Mad," said Hoover.
However nowadays social media pages which are easy to create has became a tool to generate celebrity death hoaxes. Following Michael Schumacher's accident, Facebook fan pages named R.I.P Michael Schumacher to RIP Michael Schumacher 1969 - 2014 have emerged stating that the seven-time Formula One world champ is dead. The page has harvested millions of likes.
Enraged from the death hoax, Schumacher's supporters and fans have expressed their resentment by commenting on the page.
According to a statement released by the hospital, the 44-year-old racing daredevil was admitted to the University Hospital of Grenoble, following the accident on Dec 29, 2013.
"He suffered head trauma with coma that needed prompt neurosurgical treatment. He remains in a critical condition," stated Schumacher's agent Sabine Kehm.
"Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was also victimised by a fake death hoax on the eve of his actual death and regrettably he died the same way as rumoured. The number of celebrities affected by similar hoaxes is increasing with the passage of time. These include celebrities namely Eminem, Morgan Freeman, Celine Dion, Cher, Chris Brown, Reese Witherspoon, comedian Bill Cosby, Robert Pattinson, Denzel Washington, Adele, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga Andy Kaufman, Paul Mccartney, Tom Hanks, Natalie Portman, and Harrison Ford.
Click here to know more about celebrity death hoaxes and the bad brain behind them.
Watch: RIP | In Loving Memory of Michael Schumacher | 30 Dec 2013
You may also like to read more: Michael Schumacher: Sports-World Express Support and Concern for F1 Racing Driver on Social Media, Read HERE Update on Michael Schumacher Accident: Damon Hill and Martin Brundle Hoping for Best as Schumacher Remains 'Critical,' Read HERE Michael Schumacher Dead 2013: Seven-Time Formula One World Champion Death Hoax Fuelled by RIP Fan Pages, Read HERE Fast & Furious Actor Paul Walker Dies In Car Crash: Hoax That Become Truth [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS], Read HERE