Fake News: Caster Semenya Did NOT Die in a Hospital in California, USA

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

At least two fake news sites (MegaNews360 and USANews) are claiming South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya has died, with articles titled "Caster Semenya dies in the US" and "BREAKING: Caster Semenya dies in a California Hospital". The articles are undated but they were picked up by Trendolizer on February 16th 2017 so they are at least this old.

A quote from one of the the fake articles reads:

South African middle-distance runner and 2016 Olympic gold medallist, Caster Semenya, has died in a California Hospital at Palo Alto, spouse Violet Raseboya tells States TV.

Violet Raseboya says Semenya took ill suddenly while the couple was in the United States on the invitation of Apple Inc. to talk over "a possible endorsement deal".

"She was fine but complained of minor chest pains a day before our coming. It wasn't something we had to worry about" - Violet said.

Of course it would be kind of hard for Caster Semenya to die on or before February 16th 2017 and then to send out tweets endorsing menstrual cups on February 21st 2017:

Despite this obvious proof of life the death hoax is being shared around anyway as you can see in the Trendolizer graph at the end of this article. If you notice anyone spreading the rumor around you can help by pointing them to this article here because nobody likes fake news.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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