A trickster who started a Rowan Atkinson death hoax over the weekend is now apologetic about his tweet that ended up going viral after others in London jokingly confirmed it.
Michael Meras from the Philippines tweeted, “R.I.P. Rowan Atkinson, you are really an inspiring person.” Which in turn even fooled a Wikipedia employee who temporarily updated Atkinson’s information page to show he died on February 26th 2012.
After going viral Atkinson himself had to tweet a message to let everyone know he was alive and well. “I’M NOT DEAD!! RIP. Rowan Atkinson!! ( DEÊM RT PRA DIVULGAR ),” Atkinson wrote.
Then angry tweeters started posting messages about the hoax which even included Justin Bieber.
“R.I.P Rowan Atkinson: Stop joking. Remember he’s Mr.Bean – who was a part of your childhood and grew up with you. RT to show your respect,” Bieber tweeted. It was re-tweeted about 12,000 times on Sunday by other users.
Another fan wrote, Your writing, “Rip Rowan Atkinson” made me nearly have a heart attack. Whoever started that is sick.”
Linda N. wrote, “R.I.P Rowan Atkinson? Omg, stop killing people, twitter. Mr. Bean will haunt you down, whoever who started this. Shame on you.”
Afterwards Meras issued an apology not knowing what he thought was a harmless joke would blow up in his face.
“Shutting down now. Sorry guys, RIP Rowan Atkinson was just a joke. Sorry, for that matter, I never thought it would be that viral,” Meras wrote.