Pop star death hoaxes have been around for decades, accelerated in recent years with the rise of Twitter and the immediacy and speed with which death rumors can spread. Thankfully, we have mainstream media outlets like CNN, who value diligence, patience and accuracy to get the story right.
If your only outlet for news is the beleaguered network, though, you might be mourning Gotye's death right now. iReport, the network's user-generated news section, announced the pop singer's suicide this morning:
"'At 4:32 AM EST," CNN reported. "It was reported that Gotye had shot himself in the head with a 9mm handgun. He was pronounced dead at 4.45AM, and the investigation concluded that the cause of death was suicide. It was confirmed shortly after by family and friends. He was quickly taken to the Central Montmorency Hospital, but died from his injuries shortly after. His family has stated that they plan a closed funeral."
Gotye was kind enough to take to Twitter to make a slight correction to the story:
So yeah, friendly tip to established news outlets: Drop the artist's label or rep a call or e-mail before reporting their suicide. They'll usually get back to you on things like that. The more you know.