Rumours of Philip Seymour Hoffman being the subject of an online 'death hoax' supposedly just 24 hours before his death have themselves turned out to be a hoax.
A number of news sites, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, reported what appeared to be the startlingly coincidental turn of events, but appear to have been duped.
A satirical website called Media Mass, which has previously posted faked reports of online death hoaxes, has been criticised for the stunt.
[Philip Seymour Hoffman dead 'after overdose']
There even appeared to be a 'denial' from representatives of the actor, who died following an apparent heroin overdose in New York yesterday.
“He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He's still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” reads the quote.
In fact, the 'death hoax' story can be made up for any celebrity by editing the website address which will then generate a new story and a mocked-up magazine front page featuring whichever star you choose.
The page featuring Hoffman's 'hoax' story has since been taken down.
The site describes itself as 'humorous parody of gossip magazines', adding that 'all stories are obviously not true'.
[Hollywood mourn Philip Seymour Hoffman]
It regularly posts invented news stories, listing the websites that have been drawn in.
“The website mediamass.net is the medium of our satire to expose with humour, exaggeration and ridicule the contemporary mass production and mass consumption that we observe,” say those behind the site.
“Also it will not only mock the procuders (sic) (mainstream media, journalists) as it is common when questioning and criticizing mass media, but also the consumers as one cannot exist without the other.
“Sensationalism, lack of verification of information, ethics and standards issues are only symptoms of the actual social and economic order. This is particularly obvious when observing the role of social networking sites in spreading rumours.”
The death of 'Fast & Furious' star Paul Walker was also among those reportedly hoaxed on the site.
Many speculated at the time that news of Walker's death on November 30 last year was indeed a hoax.