Breaking news: Christian Slater is NOT dead

Filed Under: Social networks, Spam, Twitter

Christian SlaterChristian Slater has not died in a snowboarding accident, despite what you might have read on the internet.

A fast-spreading internet rumour has spread across social networks claiming that the Hollywood actor, who starred in movies such as "Heathers", "The Name of the Rose" and "True Romance", was killed when he lost control of his snowboard and hit a tree at high speed, while on holiday in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Some concerned fans of Christian Slater even posted links to what appeared to be a genuine news website, seemingly confirming the breaking story:

Christian Slater is dead news story

If the news were true, it would no doubt be reported on the outlets of other news organisations around the world.

But despite "Christian Slater" currently trending on Twitter, the likes of the BBC and CNN are strangely silent on the movie star's death.

Christian Slater trending on Twitter

The truth, of course, is that Christian Slater is not dead. And neither is Tom Cruise. Oh, and Johnny Depp hasn't died in a car crash, which is also true of Emma Watson and Kanye West too.

(I would give you a complete list of who isn't dead, but I suspect that would take quite a lot of time and require occasional updating).

The "news" site that some folks are linking to is a joke website - although the joke is clearly in somewhat dubious taste.

The problem with bogus rumours like this is not just that they waste time, bandwidth and generally degrade the signal:noise ratio on the internet, but also that sometimes cybercriminals exploit them, using a trending story to spread malware such as fake anti-virus attacks.

So don't believe everything you read on the internet, folks. And don't be too quick to click on a link to what appears to be a sensational news story - you never know if a malware author might have planted a nasty surprise at the end.

Update: Some prankster has even updated Wikipedia's page about Christian Slater to claim that he died today. Sigh..

Christian Slater's Wikipedia page

Thanks to Naked Security reader Bee for pointing this out to me.

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8 Responses to Breaking news: Christian Slater is NOT dead

  1. Indeed, he's alive, take a look at what I posted on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/EmilUzelac/status/320048918... this rumor started from craigslist back on 19th. Some people don't have anything better to do.

  2. Bee · 1176 days ago

    Wikipedia has updated his profile and given 31 January 2011 as his date of death?

  3. William May · 1175 days ago

    So, what you are saying is that Christian Slater is now an undead zombie?!?!?! Wouldn't that be even BIGGER news?

  4. markmacdaddy · 1174 days ago

    To bad the story on Kayne West is not true

  5. Faith · 996 days ago

    This is so ridiculous as I just saw the the exact same "accident" posted for Christian Slater dated July 30, 2011, today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But unfortunately for those sickos that like to make up these disturbing "news flashes" they have been immediately proven false by me for this newest one! My brother, a chef, prepared him a meal last night at his hotel in Louisiana, so there you crazy psychos. He hasn't checked out to go skiing out of the country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obviously, someone that is jealous of his very incredibly talented actor! Faith

  6. So, what you are saying is that Religious Slater is now an immortal zombie?!?!?! Wouldn't that be even BIGGER news?

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.