The Year's Best Twitter Hoaxes
Britney lives, pork's clean, and O'Reilly's straight, as far as we know
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2009 4:48 PM CST

(Newser) – Twitter has become a top source for breaking news, as long as you don’t mind half of your breaking news being wrong. A number of big-time fibs started as tweets this year. Pop-ology breaks down the best:

  • Bill O’Reilly is gay: This one came off Fox News’ own twitter feed—when it was hacked in January.
  • Rick Sanchez is a crack fiend: Someone else hacked CNN anchor Rick Sanchez’s account, telling the world, “i am high on crack right now might not be coming into work today”

  • Britney Spears is dead: A Dallas radio show picked up this Twitter-generated rumor, and it snowballed from there. Some reports had Britney dead of an overdose, others of a car crash, with ex Justin Timberlake driving.
  • Jeff Goldblum is dead: This rumor had, weirdly, been swirling since 2006, but news agencies picked it up right after Michael Jackson died.
  • Pork gives you swine flu: In the flu frenzy, the other white meat was slandered.