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They say that you should never believe what you read on the Internet. In a world where information can be freely exchanged through technology, hoaxes have become just as common as the truth, and it’s hard to tell the two apart. One recent death hoax that set Twitter ablaze came when it was falsely reported that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has passed away. The truth quickly came out that the NFL's Twitter account was hacked, but not before reputable news outlet CNBC latched onto the story.
It appears that the folks over at CNBC may have committed a false start penalty by reporting Roger Goodell’s death following a hack of the official NFL Twitter account. Check out the image below that actually ran live on the network, according to Deadline:
Following the fake announcement on the NFL’s Twitter account, CNBC took the erroneous information and added it to the crawler at the bottom of their screen. The network never cut to an official story reporting on the controversial figure’s passing, but by the time they figured out what had happened, the damage had been done. Here’s what the fake NFL tweet said:
We regret to inform our fans that our commissioner, Roger Goodell, has passed away. He was 57. #RIP.
Apparently a temporarily anonymous party managed to get into the NFL’s official Twitter account - he has since been identified and suspended from Twitter - and began disseminating false information to followers of the profile. It seems that the National Football League is great at Thursday Night Football ratings, but not so good at cyber security. In addition to the report of Roger Goodell’s death, at least two other tweets were sent out before the NFL figured out what was going on and regained control of the account – although they weren't quite as Earth-shattering as the false death report, and one even tipped a hat to those who figured out the hack was happening.
Once the dust had settled and everyone realized that Roger Goodell is actually still very much alive, CNBC issued a statement on Twitter addressing the issue, but not quite apologizing for its very embarrassing blunder:
At least they got one thing confirmed by the NFL. For now it seems that everybody needs to take a step back, and not get to riled up about this. Roger Goodell is still very much alive, and CNBC would like to try and make this blunder go away as quickly and quietly as possible. Regardless of what you think of Mr. Goodell, or CNBC for that matter, we have to admit that this incident has kept us thoroughly entertained all day long.