Tragedy, sympathy and broken hearts: 10 social media hoaxes

Published: Friday, Jan. 18 2013 4:22 p.m. MST

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In 2001, Kaycee Nicole Swenson died suddenly from an aneurysm. Swenson was a teenage girl battling cancer, who made friends across the Internet as she chronicled her experiences on her blog.

Skepticism surrounding Swenson's death grew after Debbie Swenson — reportedly Kaycee's mother — told well-wishers there was no address for sending cards and flowers, and that a cremation and memorial service had taken place two days after the death, The New York Times reported.

Internet users dug into the story claims, locating the student whose photos had been used and finding that Kaycee had logged into a CollegeClub.com account after her death. The 40-year-old homemaker Debbie Swenson eventually confessed to having created the individual and her story, saying that Kaycee was a composite of three people she knew who had died of cancer.
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