A tweet claiming that Daniel Radcliffe had become the 'first famous person to be publicly confirmed' to have contracted the coronavirus was recently doing the rounds online.
Following a minor online uproar, it has been confirmed that actor Daniel Radcliffe hasn't been infected by the coronavirus. The speculation began after a fake tweet claiming that the Harry Potter star had become the first high-profile victim of the virus began doing the rounds online.
"Not true," the actor's publicist told BuzzFeed News. "BREAKING: Daniel Radcliffe tests positive for coronavirus," the false Tweet said. "The actor is said to be the first famous person to be publicly confirmed."
The tweet fooled thousands of Twitter users, including a couple of prominent journalists. The fake account was registered under the username @BBCNewsTonight, and used the BBC's logo. It has since been suspended.
BuzzFeed contacted some of the people involved in the hoax, who revealed that the tweet had made over 300000 impressions. Asked why they pulled the stunt, one member of the group behind the account said that it was done in jest, because the internet was lowering society's IQ.
"Deceiving other human's innocence by the numbers on a tweet. I could write a tweet right now but no one would believe it unless it has the right amount of numbers," one person was quoted by BuzzFeed as saying.
They said they chose Radcliffe randomly. "We needed someone who was famous but not famous enough to be unbelievable," one person said. "We found a celebrity that people care about but didn't really have relevant fame," said another. "People love
Daniel Radcliffe as a childhood star, but he isn't popular on social media."
Radcliffe will next be seen in the action film "Guns Akimbo", co-starring Samara Weaving. The novel coronavirus has infected close to 120000 people worldwide, including 52 in India.