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Friday, June 14, 2013
At first glance, the “Steve Irwin daughter dies” links may appear to be another cruel death hoax, the sort to which we are mostly accustomed despite the large number of people who seem to fall for each and every iteration of the “actor falls off a cliff in New Zealand” or “actor dies in Swiss skiing accident” hoaxing templates.
A celeb like Bindi Irwin is a naturally going to attract a lot of interest, given not only her large accomplishments and young age, but also the very public tragedy that struck her family back in 2006 when her famous dad was killed in a stingray attack.
But the headline “Steve Irwin’s daughter dies” doesn’t actually seem to be a deliberate hoax per se, and more of a headline error that involves a story from way back in January when Bindi’s essay on conservation and overpopulation was the cause of a dispute with former First Lady Hillary Clinton.
Mom Terri Irwin explained that Clinton’s org edited Bindi’s essay, saying:
“It’s interesting that she was asked to write an essay about the environment and included the consideration of population (growth) and they returned her essay edited and completely edited that out … So Bindi wrote to Hillary Clinton’s organisation and said ‘what happened to freedom of speech? This is my opinion and I don’t want that edited out’.”
How the two stories bred to form the misinformation about Bindi Irwin is unclear, but given the reach of such salacious claims on social media it’s important to set the record straight early and spare everyone the hassle.
In summation, stories with the headline “Steve Irwin’s daughter dies” are inaccurate, but this is the first accidental death hoax we’ve seen so far. You can follow Bindi Irwin over on Twitter for the latest on the young conservationist.