FACT CHECK:   Has actor James Earl Jones passed away?

Claim:   Actor James Earl Jones passed away in August 2015.

   FALSE

Example:     [Collected via Twitter, August 2015]

Origins:    On 26 August 2015, a news-like link reporting that veteran actor James Earl Jones (famously known, among many other prominent roles, as the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars series of films) had passed away in Arkabutla, Mississippi, at the age of 84 began circulating via social media. Although the link appeared to point to a real news story, it actually directed users to the prank web site Feednewz.com where they were greeted by a “You Got Owned” meme:

Anyone can create a “prank” headline on FeedNewz.com, a site that fosters users’ spreading false but sensational claims across the Internet and then encourages those who have already been fooled to continue sharing the joke.

The web site has also been responsible for promulgating false rumors about Taco Bell‘s closing, Mountain Dew‘s being discontinued, and MMA champion Ronda Rousey‘s failing a drug test.

Last updated:      26 August 2015

Originally published:    26 August 2015

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