Saved By The Bell’s Dustin Diamond is the next celebrity to be claimed dead due to a viral hoax, as fake news stories argued he died in a jail riot.
Dustin Diamond, better known by the name of his character ‘Screech’ is adored by fans after the popular sitcom Saved By The Bell ran for a huge 13 years. So when rumours started spreading that the actor had died, social media users went into panic.
However, it turns out it was all a hoax. If you thought that Dustin had died in a prison riot then it’s all fake news. In fact, he’s not even in prison at all – here’s exactly what happened.
Who is Dustin Diamond?
Dustin Diamond is an American actor, director, stand-up comedian and musician who is best known for his role as Samuel Powers aka Screech in the sitcom Saved By The Bell.
The 43-year-old from California played the role of Screech for 13 years, following the franchise from its original title Good Morning Miss Bliss, to Saved By The Bell: The New Class and then Saved By The Bell: The College Years.
In 2009, Dustin published an inside story of the show’s cast and crew, from his point of view, titled Behind the Bell, and he’s also appeared on many game and reality shows including Big Brother, The Weakest Link, Celebrity Boxing 2 and many more.
Dustin Diamond falls victim to Twitter death hoax
On Wednesday, Dustin Diamond became the victim of a celebrity death hoax, as many social media users started claiming that the actor had died. However, after much confusion it actually turned out be fake news, and it all started on Twitter.
A number of fake news articles began being posted on Twitter that claimed that the actor had died. The most notable one comes from a website called ‘Ringsssss’, which if you look at the tagline is actually called “the best satire site on the planet” giving us a clue that the story is fake to begin with.
The article is pretty believable though, titled: “Saved By The Bell’s Dustin “Screech” Diamond killed in prison riot at age 43″. However, as soon as you start reading the copy there’s red flag after red flag, and the article is obviously fake news.
It claims that Dustin was: “Finishing up a 15 year sentence for a stabbing that happened after someone criticized his comedic skills and heckled him at a comedy club, when he was tragically struck down in prison resulting in his death.”
Dustin isn’t actually in prison, so he certainly didn’t get killed in a jail riot as a result of a “failed stand-up comedy gig” like the article suggests. Nevertheless, social media users instantly started spreading the news, resulting in a worldwide panic as everyone believed the actor was actually dead.
Social media users were really confused
Despite the articles being entirely false, fake news spreads very quickly on social media, resulting in a lot of confusion and panic as Twitter users thought the actor had actually died.
One Twitter user said: “Was Dustin Diamond really killed or is that like a MTO fake story?”
“RIP in peace Dustin Diamond,” said another.
Many of the tweets contained a prison mugshot, which is why the hoax seemed even more believable. However, it was actually obtained from a short four-month prison sentence he did in 2014 on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.