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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Australian Comic Actor Jim Jefferies NOT Killed in Malta After Car Crash

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:03:59 Z)

Is Australian comic actor Jim Jefferies dead after being killed in a car crash in Malta? Rumors that Jefferies passed away are nothing more than a death hoax, he did not really die.

Origin of the hoax is an article on a fake "Malta Today" website published on March 15th 2018 under the headline "BREAKING: Australian comic actor Jim Jefferies killed in Malta after car crash" (archived here) which opened:

Australian stand-up comedian Geoff James Nugent, known professionally as Jim Jefferies has lost his life after a car crash on Thursday in Valletta.
According to the police, Jim Jefferies, 41, who was in Malta to perform at a concert was a passenger in a friend's car when the driver(his friend) lost control of the Peugeot 307 he was driving and crashed into a wall.
Members of the Civil Protection Department intervened to extract them from the car before they were taken to Mater Dei Hospital for treatment. Sadly, the Australian well-known comedian and political commentator died shortly after he was put on life support.
According to the police, his Maltese friend John Agius, 32, sustained various degree of injuries and he's in a life threatening condition, undergoing treatment at the Intensive Care Unit.

The real Malta Today website is located at www.maltatoday.com.mt, not at "maltatodays.com" like the fake website. The site was only registered three days ago:

DOMAIN INFORMATION
Domain:maltatodays.com
Registrar:Wild West Domains, LLC
Registration Date:2018-03-12

That's a first clue the story is fake. A second clue is that the (very much) alive comedian Jim Jefferies has denied he is dead on Twitter:

Jefferies.jpg

Lead Stories found an identifier for the MGID advertising network in the code of the site, and that same identifier is also present on these other sites:

  • abcnewgo.com
  • florida-times.com
  • houstonchronicle-tv.com
  • nydailynews-tv.com

This marks it out as being part of a large network of fake news websites that regularily publish death hoaxes. Only a few days ago they declared ex-president Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya dead.

We here at Lead Stories will keep monitoring this network with great interest!

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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