Philip Seymour Hoffman Alive? Bizarre Not Death Hoax Goes Viral

February 2, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

An article saying that Philip Seymour Hoffman is alive has gone viral. However, it isn’t true, and it’s from a “satire” site.

The “report,” which is from Mediamass and publishes articles that try to debunk “Internet death hoaxes,” follows what appears to be a generic template.

It has tricked many into thinking the 46-year-old actor is still alive.

It’s been confirmed Sunday that Hoffman died. Early reports suggest that Hoffman died of a heroin overdose in New York City.

Numerous mainstream media entities–including The New York Times and The Associated Press–confirmed his death, saying that a needle was sticking out of his arm.

The Mediamass article reads: “News of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death spread quickly earlier this week causing concern among fans across the world. However the January 2014 report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and just the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports. Thankfully, the actor best known for his roles in The Master, Mission: Impossible III or Capote is alive and well,” 

Mediamass is actually a “satire” website, it says.

“The website is the medium of our satire to expose with humour, exaggeration and ridicule the contemporary mass production and mass consumption that we observe,” it reads. “Also it will not only mock the procuders (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 articles on the website appear to be generated via a generic template. There’s numerous “death hoax” articles about other celebrities that all follow the same template as the Hoffman article.