Los Angeles, June 5 (IANS) Jack Black is the latest victim of a celebrity death hoax after a Twitter prank. Social media was sent into a frenzy on Sunday after a hacked Twitter account claimed that the actor had died overnight.
Messages posted by official Twitter account of Tenacious D, the comedy rock band co-founded by the comedian, said he had “died at the age of 46”, reports dailymail.co.uk.
But just hours later, the same profile wrote: “Calm down guys! It’s just a prank bro, look there’s the camera.”
Black, 46, who was last seen in public two days ago, has been the victim of a number of death hoaxes, including one last week that went viral.
Black, known for his roles in “King Kong”, “School of Rock”, and “Kung Fu Panda” franchise, performed at Rock am Ring Music Festival, near Nurburgring, Germany on Friday night.
He was also seen posing with American DJ Diplo for an image posted on photo-sharing app Snapchat in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Hours later, social media was sent into a frenzy by a series of tweets posted by the verified Tenacious D Twitter account.
The profile posted: “I’m sad to officially announce the death of Jack Black at the age of 46, rest in peace brother.”
A third message read: “It is with a heavy heart I am to announce that Jack Black passed away last night at 3:37am. The cause of death is yet unknown.”
Guitarist John Konesky, who plays with Tenacious D, soon dismissed the rumours, writing: “Twitter feed was hacked. Than s**t ain’t true! They’re working on fixing it!”
But dozens of social media users were swept up in the speculation. One Twitter user wrote “OMG terrible news. What happened?”, another said “My heart just stopped. Tell me this is a joke.”
Just hours later, the hacker posted four further messages — revealing the death announcement had been fake.
The post read: “Calm down guys! It’s just a prank bro, look there’s the camera…The Legend is still alive, it is ok guys.”
The hacker later exploited the publicity by encouraging users to follow their account on Twitter.
It is the latest in a series of death hoaxes targeting Black in recent weeks.
On Friday a Facebook page called ‘R.I.P Jack Black’ posted: “At about 11 a.m. ET on Friday (June 03, 2016), our beloved actor Jack Black passed away. Jack Black was born on August 28, 1969 in Santa Monica. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”
Hundreds of fans posted condolence messages on the page, sending social media into a frenzy. The page was ‘liked’ by nearly one million users.