An "inside joke between friends" snowballed into an avalanche of tweets earlier today claiming that actor Morgan Freeman is dead. He is not.
It all began with a fake retweet of an item purporting to have originated from CNN's main Twitter account:
RT @CNN: Breaking News: actor Morgan Freeman has passed away in his Burbank home
But no such report was ever issued by CNN, which not only disavowed it but promised to "aggressively investigate this hoax."
Farhad Manjoo of Slate.com has traced the fake retweet to a user who goes by the handle @originalcjizzle. Said user issued a tweet later in the day stating, "Tonight I truly understand the difference between fame & infamy."