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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Kevin Hart Did NOT Die A Day After Suffering 'Major Injuries' In Car Crash

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 04 Sep 2019 08:57:27 Z)

Did actor and comedian Kevin Hart die a day after suffering major injuries in a car crash and was this news reported by Associated Press? No, that's not true: the death hoax was put out by a site that belongs to a network of known fake news sites that often publish death hoaxes about celebrities that have been reported by legitimate media to be ill, in hospital or in accidents.

The story originated from an article published by "AP News" (not the real Associated Press) on September 3, 2019 titled "BREAKING: Kevin Hart dies a day after suffering 'major injuries' in car crash - News AP" (archived here) which opened:

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart has passed on at the age of 40 after suffering major injuries in car crash. Family spokesperson has said. Hart died while on admission at the Northridge Hospital Medical Centre. He was taken to hospital with "major back injuries" on Sunday following a car accident in Los Angeles. His driver, ...

Screenshot of https://news-ap.com/breaking-kevin-hart-dies-a-day-after-suffering-major-injuries-in-car-crash/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

BREAKING: Kevin Hart dies a day after suffering 'major injuries' in car crash - News AP

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart has passed on at the age of 40 after suffering major injuries in car crash. Family spokesperson has said. Hart died while on admission at the Northridge Hospital Medical Centre. He was taken to hospital with "major back injuries" on Sunday following a car accident in Los Angeles. His driver, ...

Hart did suffer major back injuries in a crash last Sunday:

Kevin Hart suffers major back injuries in car crash

Actor-comedian Kevin Hart and two others were involved in a car crash in Calabasas, California early Sunday, according to a California Highway Patrol incident report obtained by CNN.

But later reports indicated he would be just fine, although he faces a long revalidation period:

Kevin Hart Will Require Months of Rehab After Car Crash

TMZ Kevin Hart is on the mend, but he won't be out of the woods for a long time, the comedian will require extensive physical therapy ... TMZ has learned. Sources close to Kevin tell us he's expected to be released from the hospital by the end of the week.

The site that put out the death hoax (news-ap.org) appears to be part of a network of sites strongly resembling sites from a Ghana-based fake news network Lead Stories exposed in April 2018:

Global Fake News Network Responsible For Dozens of Death Hoaxes Shuts Down After Ghana Connections Revealed | Lead Stories

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. On April 17, 2018 former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away but a full day earlier an article prematurely announcing her death from a website pretending to be CNN managed to rack up a combined 2.3 million likes, shares and comments on Facebook.

Right now Lead Stories suspects following sites are part of the "new" network:

  • ab-tc.com
  • canada-tv3.com
  • cbtvn.com
  • news-ap.com

These sites all engage in behaviour that is very similar to sites in the old network:

  • Repeating the same story with locations/names changed.
  • Using dashes, "news", "tv" or "radio" in domain names.
  • Promoting death hoaxes (the same sites published multiple fake death stories all set in Toronto, Canada recently).
  • Using the MGID ad network for monetization.
  • Filling their front pages with "real" news copied from other sites.
  • Spreading links to the hoax stories through fake Facebook profiles on various local and buy-and-sell Facebook groups/pages.

By itself each of these individual methods is not enough to make the connection. But all of them taken together strongly suggest it is the same person or persons. Don't fall for stories like these!

We wrote about news-ap.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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

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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