People get on my nerves with this! No one ever wants to look into what they are posting to make sure that it is real or not. They just share and spread the ignorance. It really is NOT that hard to do a quick frikkin google search to double check.
It is sometimes hard to gauge reported celebrity deaths. Sometimes the reported way they died is a straight giveaway that it is made up. But sometimes it really does happen, ie: Robin Williams suicide. Twitter and Facebook are the least reliable of sources. I always check TMZ and legitimate news sources, MSN.
Just when you think internet users can't get any stupider, we as a society go and prove it. People don't believe everything they hear, but they sure will believe anything they see online. Twitter has proven that people just accept anything they see online, so why wouldn't people believe Ricky Martin was/is dead?
While users are, indeed, too quick to believe a falsehood, the Internet itself has little to do with the gullibility of the audience. Many current online rumors, in fact, originated long before the Web existed. The Internet simply serves as an enhanced method of delivery for misinformation. It also allows for quicker correction of hoaxes. You'd think by now people would know better and regard information from non-reliable sources critically, but experience has shown that many of them don't and probably never will.