The Nike Tech Kid Is Still Alive and Well, Despite What You May Have Heard

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Dec. 21 2022, Published 10:55 a.m. ET

It's an unfortunate reality that death hoaxes have become increasingly common in online life. Famous celebrities are the most common victims of this trend, but they can also come for people who seem much more random than that. Most recently, a rumor began spreading online that a child who had done some modeling for Nike and eventually went viral had died by suicide, but that rumor is totally untrue.

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What happened to the Nike Tech kid?

If you're unfamiliar with the Nike Tech kid, you should likely first know that he was a young boy who did some modeling for Nike. Some people turned him into a meme, which eventually allowed him to spread across the internet. It can be strange when a real child becomes such a viral sensation, but the memes were circulated largely without malicious intent.

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Then, quite suddenly on Dec. 20, rumors began to circulate that this kid had died. The rumors originated with a video posted on TikTok that claimed to have verified that the news was true.

“The infamous 'Nike Tech kid' sadly passed away because of suicide; investigators concluded that this was because the parents had a violent divorce which corresponded to the situation," the caption under the video claimed.

Plenty of people fell for this, but it turns out that it isn't even a little bit true. Instead, it's a rumor that has circulated online for who knows what reason. The post that the video cites is not attributed to any news site, and they also don't come up in search results. What's more, the news has not been reported by any authoritative source.

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Don't fall for fake news online.

As death hoaxes and other forms of fake news become more common online, it's important to know how to differentiate real news from news designed to get a rise out of you, even though it's not true.

Before you share or post about anything you see, check the source it's coming from, and maybe also do a quick search to see if other news outlets are reporting on the same news.

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There are plenty of tragedies in the real world, but it doesn't do anybody any good to begin making some up when they haven't even actually happened. Fake news is designed so that it will spread quickly without anyone bothering to check if it's true, which is why reporting these posts can also be useful.

Reporting fake news posts can help discourage its creation, and it can also stop its dissemination. If you see a post that contains no sources or has questionable sourcing and seems to be telling a story that's almost too crazy to be true, you may want to report it to keep others from falling for whatever story the post is trying to sell.

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