Steve Irwin's daughter, Bindi, was the latest celebrity victim of an online death hoax. This time, however, it wasn't some made-up, macabre story of a ski accident in Switzerland, but rather a rumor spawned from a jumbled Internet search term.
E! News referred to the snafu as the "perfect search storm." Social News Daily boiled it down to a "trends hiccup."
It all started Friday when word that Irwin's daughter had died began to spread on Twitter and became a popular term on various search engines, according to E! News. Hoax sleuths were able to link it all back to a glitch in Internet searches relating to the term "Steve Irwin daughter."
Bindi has been making headlines for her new movie "Return to Nim’s Island," which premiered in March and was released on DVD May 21. As people searched for information on Irwin's daughter, search engines matched up the query with stories written about her following the September 2006 death of her father. The keywords combined, Social News Daily notes, to create one creepy trending term: "Steve Irwin's daughter dies."
The 14-year-old is, of course, alive and well.
The precocious teen has been busy working on projects with the Discovery Channel and dedicating herself to environmentalism. In April, she visited Singapore to talk about her commitment to wildlife.
“I’m a great believer in conservation, kid-empowerment and all things to do with wildlife," Bindi told Yahoo! Singapore. "So these programs are something that I’m really passionate and excited about. It’s very special – and what a unique position to be in, to be able to share your passion with such a wide audience. How nice is that?"
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Bindi Irwin's first name.