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Britney Spears Hoax

Summary:
Fake email news item claims that pop diva Britney Spears was hospitalized due to a drug overdose (Full commentary below.)



Status:
False

Example:Collected online, 2003.
12:03 (CNN) NY - Britney Spears, the pop music diva, was rushed to New York Cornell Medical Centre early this morning with symptons of an apparent drug overdose, sources said. Ms. Spears, 22 years old, has been in New York the last week promoting the release of her latest CD, "In The Zone", and was said to be recovering after receiving medical attention. There is no timetable for her release, say those close to the situation.



Commentary:
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated". Thus spoke Mark Twain after learning that the New York Journal had published his obituary. "Greatly exaggerated", as in fictitious, accounts of death, illness or misadventure among the rich and famous are a recurring theme in the history of hoaxes. And of course, the Internet has proved to be an exceptional vehicle for such hoaxes.

In November 2003, pop star Britney Spears was, for the second time, on the pointy end of such a hoax. The fake news item above began circulating with the claim that the singer had been hospitalized for a drug overdose. Britney's record company was forced to release a statement quashing the rumor. At the time it seems that Britney was quite well and busily rehearsing for the American Music Awards. Back in 2001, another baseless hoax claimed that Spears had been killed in a car accident. A radio station DJ gave birth to the rumour, but it subsequently spread rapidly across the Internet, mutating as it went.


Write-up by Brett M.Christensen