New York: Though Morgan Freeman is alive and well, fans of the actor were sent into a panic when a rumour rocketed across the Internet on Thursday that CNN had reported his death.
The star died on Thursday -- not in real life, but according to a Twitter hoax that duped countless users, reports the New York Daily News.
"RT @CNN: Breaking News: actor Morgan Freeman has passed away in his Burbank home," many Twitter users posted on Thursday evening.
On Twitter, a post starting with the letters RT indicates that a user is simply re-tweeting what another user has said.
Confusion continued to spread as Twitter users "re-tweeted" or re-posted the post purportedly from CNN.
The post was re-tweeted by many other media outlets, including LiveNewsWire and ESPN`s Bruce Feldman, as well as Borders headquarters.
This epidemic of re-tweets caused many to believe that CNN had posted the news, and others were simply passing it on.
But CNN`s Twitter account did not display the original post, leading users to wonder whether it had been deleted as a retraction, or was potentially hacked.
"Now I`m curious if CNN even tweeted a statement about Morgan Freeman, or if someone simply hoaxed the tweet with a `RT @CNN,`" one user wrote.
CNN itself cleared up the rumors on Thursday evening with a post to its official Twitter page.
"CNN did not report Morgan Freeman death. Rumor is false. CNN will aggressively investigate this hoax," the network stated.