Bono Ebola rumour has fans astir

2014-10-17 00:00

BONO, lead singer of the Irish rock group U2, does not have Ebola.

This denial followed rumours on social media as well as in traditional print media after gossip news sources earlier this week “revealed” the singer showed early signs of Ebola after he did charity work in West Africa.

Bono has this week appeared on several broadcasts to apologise for Apple distributing the group’s latest album, Songs of Innocence, on every iPhone without the smartphone buyers asking for the songs.

In the UK the Independent newspaper dismissed the Ebola rumours as “ridiculous”, but re-tweeters and gossip sheet readers believed every word, with thousands tweeting or posting their angst on Facebook.

It was not the only social media satire that had the punters thumb-typing emoticons or hashtagging their emotions. Earlier this week a rumour did the rounds that film director Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland) would remake the classic musical Mary Poppins with Cate Blanchett cast in the lead role.

This rumour had its own poster depicting Blanchett as Mary Poppins.

Social media expert Emma Sadleir said such satirical or false rumours by “digital vigilantes” could be defamatory and anyone who re-tweeted or shared the rumour could be held responsible for defaming a person.

“False information can affect anyone, even if your name is Bono or Cate Blanchett.”

Sadleir said “citizen journalists” were a very dangerous breed because they were not accountable to any ethical code or media law.

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