Pop icon Cher was almost killed -- by a hashtag.
The hashtag #nowthatcherisdead circulated in the Twitterverse on Monday and quickly became a source of confusion for Cher's fans. It turns out, the hashtag was generated by a website called "Is Thatcher Dead Yet?" dedicated to monitoring the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, according to The Wall Street Journal. Thatcher passed away on Monday at the age of 87.
Fans panicked when they saw the hashtag and took to Twitter to mourn what they thought was the pop star's death.
RIP Cher. At least now we'll find out about life after love. #nowthatchersdead
— David Itzcovitz (@ItzDaveMedia) April 8, 2013
Did Cher die?! #nowthatchersdead
— Nick Frost (@Nick_Frost) April 8, 2013
#nowthatchersdead Cher is dead?!?!?!
— George Clarke (@MrGeorgeClarke) April 8, 2013
Fortunately, comedian Ricky Gervais was available to help put an end the confusion:
Some people are in a frenzy over the hashtag #nowthatchersdead.It's "Now Thatcher's dead". Not, "Now that Cher's dead" JustSayin'
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 8, 2013
Cher is now part of the club of celebrities who were victims of death pranks. Bill Cosby had to refute reports of his own death on Twitter in 2010. Denzel Washington was presumed dead in 2011 thanks to the newssite Global Associated News, which known for generating fake news. The site is also responsible for the fake deaths of Charlie Sheen, Adam Sandler and Owen Wilson. Others who have combated phony death reports on Twitter include: Jeff Goldblum, Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Britney Spears, Morrissey, and Ellen DeGeneres.