These past few days, it appears that Facebook (and YouTube) has become the launchpad to yet another celebrity death hoax. This time, the personality in question is Will Smith’s son, Jaden. Using one of our test accounts, below is a captured screenshot of what this Facebook post would look like if a user sees it in their feed:
Our test account pushed this post out first by visiting the domain, iwilltryeverything[DOT]site (pictured below), and clicking any of the five boxes claiming to contain the same news:
Also, clicking anywhere on the page redirects users to ads, which may not be ideal if you’re worried about malvertising.
Users are then directed to a goaheadnow[DOT]press page. From here, two things can happen: one, the user may choose to scroll down and check out the video on that page or, two, the user can choose to share the false news straight away.
Choosing to view the video directs users to a page of a random online video service provider, purporting to contain the video of the false news. However, in order for users to view it, they need to sign up:
Choosing to share the news straight away directs users to Facebook’s login page for them to enter their credentials, if they’re not logged in it already. And then, the site asks for the user permission to post on their wall.
Celebrity death hoaxes are not new, yet every now and then someone with a public name can land on these bogus news headlines in an attempt by social engineers and hoaxers to gain traction and let the nature of the internet take its course. As more people share and spread such false news, the likelihood of others falling for online threats like scams and malware, or signing up for something they’d regret in the end also increases.
If you see the Jaden Smith death “news” in your feed, inform the sharer that it’s a hoax and avoid sharing it further.
Jovi Umawing (Thanks to Steven)