Michael Jackson’s death today lead to many in the Twittersphere retweeting (RT’ing) stories about the subsequent deaths of actors Jeff Goldblum and even Harrison Ford.

I’m sure the shock of MJ’s and Farrah Fawcett‘s deaths, and to a lesser extent Ed McMahon‘s earlier in the week, threw some people off, leading them to report anything. This example of how Twitter can be used to break “news” is not a good one, to say the least. In fact, it shines a light on how people can mindlessly spread rumours before they’re fact just because it was tweeted bunch of times.

Admittedly I was intrigued by the Jeff Goldblum report, so I retweeted a post that shared my skeptical views:


Even RT’ing something like that made me feel a little sick, so I went on a Twitter search. I then find a bunch of people RT’ing messages about Goldblum’s driving off a cliff in New Zealand where he was filming a movie.

Here are a few examples of the tweets surrounding Goldblum:


I clicked on a few links provided in tweets but the none of the sites ended up working. I tried a few more times with no success before I did a Google search, which came up with nothing either. Finding it fishy the entire time, I came back on Twitter and saw a celebrity tweeting something useful for once.  Kevin Spacey, of all people, (hopefully) put the rumours to rest with his tweet:


In closing, I’d just like to say before you tweet something with a link, make sure the link works, for one. Don’t retweet something because you want people to think you’re up-to-date, or you want have your post RT’d again, or want to get more followers. Spreading rumours like these make Twitter’s reputation for news gathering, that much more shaky.