By William E. Ketchum III
On Sunday night (December 18) news reports confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had died of a heart attack. He was ranked as the 31st most powerful person in the world by Forbes in 2010 and was also regarded by many as a tyrant, so naturally social media networks caught fire with the news. However, tracking stories on Twitter can sometimes be like playing the childhood game “Telephone”—what begins as one thing can end as another—so more than a few tweeters got their facts confused, thinking that Brooklyn rapper Lil Kim had died instead.
The usual torrent of reactions to a celebrity’s death—questions, jokes, and everything in between—filled up users’ Twitter timelines.
“Wait, did lil kim really die?! I NEED ANSWERS,” @LeslieMorentz shrieked.
User @Briaaaaaa_ plainly asked, “Did Lil Kim die? I’ve seen it on my TL a couple times.”
Meanwhile, @WackoJacko6 joked about the possibility of Lil Kim’s passing. “Wait did lil kim really die? Woah rip she introducecd me to titty stickers and my life has been amazing since.”
User @landismithers knew the situation, and decided to go for a few laughs as well. “kim jong died. lil kim was slain by nicki minaj,” he quipped. “kim kardashian ends her marriage and is killed by the media. a dangerous year to be a kim.”
Some may have thought Lil Kim actually died because of comedian and television host Bill Maher’s tweet: “First Hitchens, now L’il Kim – bad week for atheists?” But other users clarified that Maher used “Lil Kim” as a nickname for the Korean leader.