Neil Armstrong Dies on Anniversary of Death, Thanks to Twitter

Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 01:18 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Many users took to Twitter Tuesday to mourn the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong, but the only problem is that the man who first walked on the moon actually died a year ago on Aug. 25, 2012.

The reverse death hoax started Tuesday when Twitter was flooded with "RIP Neil Armstrong" messages.

All the tweets linked to an ABC News story titled, "Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon, is Dead."

What likely happened is that sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning, someone attempted to post a tribute to Armstrong with a link to the original ABC News obituary from last year. Other users then saw that tweet and believed the astronaut had just died. They probably clicked "Share" and picked up the ABC News original headline which implied that the death was breaking news, thus unwittingly perpetuating the cycle.

By Tuesday afternoon, Twitter users had picked up on the false rumor.

Armstrong died Aug. 25, 2012 at age 82. As a crew member on the Apollo 11, Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon in July 1969.

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