The rumor started when a Twitter user, Michael Robert Meras of the Philippines, posted a tweet at around 11 a.m. Sunday saying, "RIP Rowan Atkinson".
However he later posted another tweet saying that it was a joke. "Shutting down now. Sorry guys, RIP Rowan Atkinson was just a joke. Sorry for that matter, I never thought it would be that viral. We<3MrBean."
Another Twitter user from the Philippines posted a tweet saying, "My sister is a working student in London and she also confirmed it too. Last night he passed." But the Twitter user later confirmed that the actor is not dead.
The rumor went viral on Twitter Sunday after the tweet posted by Michael Mears with people speculating as to whether the actor is really dead. However, some users also posted tweets saying that the actor is alive and that "RIP" Atkinson means "Really Inspiring Person."
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In the past few weeks, Twitter has become a "virtual tombstone" for public figures. A person starts a death rumor on Twitter by just tweeting without even confirming the news, without any proper attribution and information about the news and without any basis for the claim. Many start the rumors just for joke's sake.
But this time, even Wikipedia, a collaborative, multilingual Internet encyclopedia, got fooled by the Twitter death hoax. Wikipedia, one of the most viewed Web sites, update the actor's page and mentioned the death date of the actor as "26 February 2012" on its site, but it later deleted it.
However, the actor's fans quickly put down the rumors, tagging posts with simple words: "Mr. Bean Is Immortal."
Here are a few funny tweets appearing on Twitter after the actor's death rumor started trending on the micro-blogging site.
-R.I.P Rowan Atkinson is a nice try twitter! we all know Mr.Bean is immortal :P for godsake twitter kills more people than hitler :D
-"R.I.P Rowan Atkinson" ? He is still alive ! There's no any confirmation yet if he died ! "Haters go get a life"
-R.I.P Rowan Atkinson, really? This is too far now. YOU CANT KILL OFF MR. BEAN. IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.
-R.I.P Rowan Atkinson...retarted twitter people ..RIP is used when somebody is dead..i dont care about Really Inspired Person!!!-_-
-R.I.P Rowan Atkinson. Twitter kills more people than Hitler.
-R.I.P Rowan Atkinson ? Omg stop killing people, twitter. Mr. Bean will haunt you down, whoever who started this. Shame on you.
-R.I.P Rowan Atkinson means 'Really Inspiring Person' not Rest In Peace
-R.I.P Rowan Atkinson "RIP" has always been "Rest In Peace"...So STOP killing people,use "VIP" at least,make it "Very Inspiring People"!
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