Fidel Castro Tricked Twitter (Again) Into Thinking He Died Last Night

tracksuitfidel.jpg
Still (technically) alive
Living in Miami actually makes it much easier to quickly judge whether reports of Fidel Castro's demise are true. Just open your window: Are horns honking? Are fireworks exploding? Is anyone running down your street yelling El hijo de puta está muerto?!

If not, then Fidel is probably not dead. Such was the case last night when the Twitterverse exploded with millions of false tweets that the dictator had kicked it. Turns out a "Fidel is Dead" email virus might be to blame yet again.

As usual with Twitter rumors, trying to figure out where last night's explosion started is mostly futile. But by 8 p.m. or so, the #fidel hashtag had jumped almost 900 percent to become an internationally trending topic.

News gatherers with tens of thousands of followers started retweeting the rumors. Here's Sami Sarhan, who retweets international updates to just under 11,000 followers just before 9 last night:

But as of this morning, the rumor hasn't even garnered a front page mention on the Miami Herald's site. (Again, another benefit of living in Miami: You know the Herald has the king of special web heads ready to run at the slightest hint that Casto may have actually kicked it.)

Many are now speculating that the "Fidel as Dead" email virus that crashed computers worldwide back in August may have struck again yesterday. Many on Twitter were reposting a doctored photo of Fidel in a coffin that was included in the fake emails.

So the lesson for Miami: Next time your Twitterfeed tells you Fidel has peaced out, walk outside and listen for a minute before you believe it.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Tim Elfrink writes about crime, politics and South Florida insanity; follow him @timelfrinkmia.

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4 comments
Polly  King
Polly King

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Latin Dispatch
Latin Dispatch

Excellent method of Fidel death verification!

Have you guys seen any indication that the rumor this time around was connected to a virus? It seems the most likely explanation, but we have yet to hear of any mention of a related email chain. 

Denoir
Denoir

@vicios:disqus .........my best friend's mother-in-law makes $83/hour on the laptop. She has been fired for 8 months but last month her pay was $7911 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site LazyCash4. com

Humberto Capiro
Humberto Capiro

A FASCIST STATE LIKE CUBA WOULD NEVER ADMIT THE DEATH OF FIDEL OR RAUL WITHOUT FIRST GETTING THEIR ARMY IN GEAR FOR ANY TROUBLE! FIDEL CASTRO HAS NOT BEEN SEEN LIVE ON TV OR ON VIDEOS TALKING ABOUT CURRENT TOPICS FOR YEARS! SHAME ON JOURNALISTS FOR NOT QUESTIONING THIS FACT!

The death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco during the first season of NBC's Saturday Night served as the source of the phrase. Franco lingered near death for weeks before dying. On slow news days, United States network television newscasters sometimes noted that Franco was still alive, or not yet dead. The imminent death of Franco was a headline story on the NBC news for a number of weeks prior to his death on November 20.

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