As a general rule of life, deaths of well-known people should be confirmed before they’re reported. Hell, make that the deaths of anyone. You don’t tell your kids, “Kids, there are rumors that Grandpop has died.” You just wait until you know for sure, and then you tell them.
The CBS News–linked Twitter account @WhatsTrending violated this rule today when it sent out this message to its over 11,000 followers: “Reports say that Steve Jobs has passed away. Stay tuned for more updates.” It’s unclear what “reports” @WhatsTrending was referring to, and the update, as you can see above, was that Steve Jobs isn’t actually dead.
This isn’t even the first time this has happened to poor Jobs. In 2008, Bloomberg News accidentally ran its Jobs obituary while they were updating it for future use. Someday, Steve Jobs will die for real, and nobody will believe it.