Tragedy, sympathy and broken hearts: 10 social media hoaxes

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

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In 2000, a 19-year-old girl named Sheyla Morrison was fired from acting as a volunteer "guide" in the online game Everquest. The day after she lost her guide position, she committed suicide.

The information regarding Sheyla's purported suicide was posted online, and other users expressed shock, sorrow and disbelief, a Salon story reported. However, Everquest community members began to investigate after information she had posted before her suicide conflicted with earlier information she had given to an online friend.

A Gamers.com article cited by Salon found that Sheyla and her family — a sister, husband and foster mother — were created by an Oklahoma City couple. The wife played as the sister Jolena, and the husband played as Sheyla. The Gamers.com story said the husband planned to claim his wife staged the suicide, and wanted to use the situation to prove she was unstable, therefore giving him custody of their child.
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