This Is How A Rumor That Drake Died Got Started

Spoiler: He's not actually dead.

Let's start at the beginning. This is Drake. (Hi, Drake. 👋👋)

The hoax started with people filling the comments of the "Hotline Bling" video on YouTube saying Drake died.

Here's what we know vs. what we don't know:

We can't be sure that 4chan is actually where the hoax started. Screenshots of 4chan planning "Operation Drake" were posted to Tumblr and Twitter. However, one of BuzzFeed's editors did see people on 4chan talking about it that day (that thread, like all 4chan threads, expired and is gone).

But it's unclear if the hoax started somewhere else and 4chan just jumped on the bandwagon to claim it as its own.

In addition to tweets with #RIPDrake and the YouTube comments, someone made a post as a Community user on BuzzFeed claiming Drake was dead.

Once BuzzFeed's editors saw the post, we updated it to say that a false claim about Drake had been posted there and has been removed.

In an even weirder twist, that fake BuzzFeed Community post ended up on the front page of Yahoo, which means that a LOT of people ended up seeing the headline and post.

Whatever happened, the 4channer who created the BuzzFeed post ended up being wildly successful and got the hoax in front of a ton of people.

I also reached out to the email address of the person who created the fake "Joan Weaver" user account to make the BuzzFeed post. I haven't gotten a reply, but whoever you are out there, young troll, I just want to bring you a message: well played.

Last Monday, a hoax that Drake had died swept the internet. On this week's Internet Explorer episode, we explore how this happened and how trolls used BuzzFeed's Community accounts to spread the hoax.
Skip to footer