Yesterday, I received the following message from a bredren of mine:
“Thank you sir. And you know Buju Banton is dead?”
He immediately followed up that text with what was an “article” he had read which was basically from a now defunct site http://netlivemedia.com that makes these things up. The content of the text and the site was:
“Mark Anthony Myrie , also known as Buju Banton, a Jamaican dancehall, ragga, and reggae musician. was found dead inside his cell of the US federal prison where he was serving his 10years sentence for drug trafficking.
Reports are that he was found hanging from a rope tied to the ceiling of his jail cell, security was quickly called but it was too as he was already dead.
The news about the death of the Buju Shocked people over the US to Jamaica.
The Jamaican Government say they will not make any comments on the matter as investigation is still ongoing over Mr.Coke death.
Banton was found guilty on three counts of drug trafficking charges in 2011. He was arrested at a warehouse in South Florida in December 2009 in a drug sting operation.”
Not only was it suspicious because of the many errors including mentioning Mr.Coke (likely Christopher “Dudus” Coke) instead of Mr. Myrie and similarities to other hoaxes, but a quick search online uncovered just one site (netlivevideo.com) “reporting” such info. If it was a reputable site, I’d have dug a bit further but, I just gave up. It was confirmed that this was nonsense, just another hoax, a huge lie… not just a fake news.
I texted back my bredren with:
“I am pretty sure that is not real. They mixed up Buju (Myrie) with Dudus (Coke) in the same story.”
Eight minutes later, I followed up with:
“Looked it up and found the one site with that info (netlivemedia.com). They have a few gossip “articles” with fake news”
He replied immediately,
“OK so I guess you’re saying it’s not true.”
“It would be big news on all Caribbean stations, blogs, pages, and many American papers, etc.”
“OK, You’re right”
Then I cemented it with:
“Many fake news these days as you know. The Internet helps to proliferate them so I look up [a lot of what I get / read / hear]. In fact, I told peeps about a year ago that if humans live for 200 or more years, people in that future will have no idea what is real and what’s fake because of things like this on the Internet.”
Bottom line is that Mark Anthony “Buju Banton” Myrie is NOT dead as of Mar 07, 2017. He has NOT commuted suicide.
This is not the only fake information that has been sent or told to me. I get about 30 of hoaxes or lies via text, verbally, on the phone, or read them on the Internet each month. I usually dismiss the majority immediately. A few, I confirm their validity (fact-check them) on sites like snopes.com, etc. I do warn my neighbors, coworkers, bredren, sistren, and relatives who forward things like these to vet them properly before passing them on to me or anyone else. Passing them on contributes to the mis-information and con-fusion that is so pervasive in today’s society. People truly cannot tell what is real and what is a hoax or blatant lie today.
You have been warned but I am curious what you all think.