Origins: No, popular entertainer Dave Matthews (of the Dave Matthews Band) is not dead, nor are the Olsen twins or Britney Spears enrolling at Tufts, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, or any other university.
The web site at IP address 184.108.40.206 is spo0fed.com, which hosts a number of spoofed CNN pages about such made-up topics as Britney Spears enrolling at Tufts, the Olsen Twins attending Purdue University, Dave Matthews dying of a drug overdose, Trishelle Goodwin (of MTV's Real World Las Vegas) killing herself, etc. All the articles are poorly-written, with numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes that clearly mark them as nothing ever issued by the real CNN. (The site's availability is spotty now that it's been "discovered," and most visitors now see only error messages instead of content.)
Many web surfers have been confused by these spoofs because they're led to the site by URLs such as the following:
This link looks like its pointing to a section of World News articles at CNN.com, but everything preceding an '@' character in a URL is generally ignored, so this link actually redirects the user to pages hosted on the site at the IP address220.127.116.11.
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.