Contrary to Twitter, Swayze Is Alive

Short message service roiled by false news -- again

For the second time in a week, a rumor on Twitter quickly spread, only to be eventually proved false.

This time, it was the news that actor Patrick Swayze, who has been suffering from cancer, had died.

The rumor was initially to reported to have been started with a "tweet" from BNO news, which attributed the news to a Florida radio station report. But the radio station's program manager denied that the report came from them.

Swayze, who has been flying in his private plane from his home in Los Angeles to Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, is still very much alive according to a spokesman.

Last Friday, a rumor that California's Proposition 8 had been overturned by the state supreme court also caught fire, fueled by a gale of tweets.

The report was actually a Los Angeles Times story from last year regarding the court's decision to allow same-sex marriage.

Not that the Los Angeles Times itself wasn't eventually suckered into reporting the false rumor -- on Twitter, naturally.

Jackson West suggests people stick to credible fake news sources like The Onion and The Daily Show.

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