An internet hoax about the death of British actor Rowan Atkinson became the top trending topic worldwide on Twitter today.
Rumours about the apparent demise of the Mr Bean star spread around the globe within hours of a ‘joke’ tweet from a so called 'internet troll' on the microblogging site.
The hoax even briefly fooled internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, which displayed Mr Atkinson’s date of death as 26 Febrary, 2012 on his entry page.
Tens of thousands of people latched onto the #RIP Rowan Atkinson hash-tag to express their condolences.
The top world wide trending subject was apparently sparked by a single post from a twitter user based in the Philippines.
Michael Robert Meras posted the message to his 753 followers: ‘Fresh news from Britain, Rowan Sebastian Atkinson (A.K.A. Mr. Bean) passed away this evening.’
Within a few hours the rumours had spread around the globe and ignited an internet frenzy.
Just two hours later, Michael Robert Meras posted another comment saying: ‘OMG! I started the tween RIP Rowan Atkinson, it was just a joke...’
An hour later he added: ‘Shutting down now. Sorry guys, RIP Rowan Atkins was just a joke. Sorry for the matter, I never thought it would be that viral.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2106780/Rowan-Atkinson-death-hoax-trends-worldwide-Twitter-RIP-Mr-Bean.html#ixzz1ngXc2vtE