Betty White has been the victim of death hoaxes in the past, but, sadly, she really has passed away, according to TMZ.
Betty White died at the age of 99 on December 31, 2021. You can read more about her death here.
Fans held out hope that she was alive because, in the past, she was subjected to false death reports. But this time the news was unfortunately true.
False reports that White was dead spread like wildfire on Twitter and Facebook on November 9, 2019. It all started with a fake news site. Such death hoaxes have afflicted other Hollywood stars as sites pass on stories set up to look like news but that are completely false.
In the case of Betty White, her publicist has confirmed the good news. Betty White didn’t die. White is “alive and very well,” her rep confirmed, according to The Sun.
The death hoax started on a fake site called EmpireNews.net, a self-proclaimed satirical and entertainment site, which shared a false story headlined “Actress Betty White, 93, Dyes Peacefully In Her Los Angeles Home.” This is how the hoax goes viral. People see the article shared, and they share it, not realizing that it’s a hoax:
Lots of people believed Betty White is dead.
People grew upset (and relieved) when they realized it was a hoax.
Here’s what you need to know:
This False Article Dates to 2014
Eagle-eyed fans might notice that the word dyes is spelled wrong in the headline. Another clue that the article is false. The Golden Girl is 97 years old, not 93. The reason the age is off: The article is old.
It’s just that, periodically, the false story gets spread again on social media. In fact, Snopes debunked that very same story back in 2014.
The word “dyes” was purposely chosen, Snopes says, because the article was supposed to be a joke story about Betty White dying her hair, not Betty White leaving life behind. The article contained the joke quote that White “likes to relax in her home with her animals, and she rarely likes to discuss the fact, at least in public, that she is actually a brunette. She has been dying her own hair in her home for decade.”
However, when the article gets shared on social media, some people only glance at the headline and mistakenly assume that it means White is dead. “People please read the story. She’s not dead! The story is about her dyeing her hair. May God continue to bless her with good health and us with many more years with her alive and well,” implored one woman.
“I got on Twitter to verify if Betty White truly left us. It is with great pleasure that I report she has not! Don’t try me like that again. *resumes watching Golden Girls*,” wrote another.
The reports made for some difficult moments.
“Woke up to my wife telling me Betty White died which is most certainly not the way to start your day. She was too devastated to get mad at, but c’mon.”
“My cousin really thought Betty White died this morning. It was fake news lmaooo I can’t w this foo.”
“Got sad because my daughter told me #bettywhite died. Now it turns out is a #hoax . Not funny people! Not funny!”
READ NEXT: Betty White Celebrates Her 97th Birthday.