The Viral Hashtag #RIPJeffBezos Claimed the Amazon CEO Had Drowned

The hashtag RIP Jeff Bezos is creating buzz on social media, but many users aren't clear why the hashtag has been trending online recently.


Mar. 22 2021, Updated 11:41 a.m. ET

jeff bezos
Source: Getty Images

Jeff Bezos is the richest man on the planet, so it would be pretty big news if he died. When the hashtag #RIPJeffBezos began trending on social media recently, some users began to wonder whether the Amazon CEO had in fact passed away. That isn't actually the case, but that didn't stop users from spreading the hoax far and wide. Jeff is alive and well, but so is this hashtag about him. 

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How did the #RIPJeffBezos hashtag start?

The rumor that Jeff had died was apparently started after a few Twitter users decided to perpetuate the hoax. This hoax was like another very similar trend which claimed that Ellen DeGeneres had also died unexpectedly. In this case, many of the users claimed that Jeff had died in a drowning accident in the Amazon River. That would certainly be an ironic way for the CEO to go. 

Source: Instagram
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What did users say with the hashtag?

As it began to trend, some users played along, while others wondered why the hashtag was popping up on their feeds in the first place. "I’m literally sobbing. first ellen now jeff. I can’t believe he drowned in the amazon river. he didn’t deserve this. ok maybe he did," one user wrote. Other users imagined what the world would look like in the aftermath of Jeff's death. 

“#ripjeffbezos Jeff Bezos wrote everybody on earth's name in his will, we will all be getting $25.57," another tweet said. Another shared an image of Pitbull accompanied by a heartfelt message remembering Bezos, as the two share totally shaved heads. For every joke tweet about Jeff's death, there were other users who were frustrated that the trend had become so dominant. 

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"How in the hell are all of these weird hashtags trending? I'm so tired of this propaganda platform. #ripjeffbezos," another user wrote in frustration. The Amazon CEO actually received quite a bit of love from users once the hoax was discovered. Of course, the users who were adopting the hashtag to debunk it were also allowing it to spread more widely across the internet.

Source: Instagram
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What is Jeff Bezos worth?

As the CEO of Amazon, Jeff has accumulated incredible amounts of wealth, especially in recent years. The most recent estimate in Forbes suggests that his net worth is more than $180 billion, which makes him the richest man in the world. He founded Amazon in 1994 out of his garage, and apparently still owns an 11 percent stake in the company. He also owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, a space exploration company. 

Although Amazon remains a highly profitable company, it has come under criticism for its treatment of workers both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to reports, workers were sometimes forced to work in dangerous conditions, and those dangers have only increased in light of the pandemic that can be easily spread indoors. 

Because of reports about the treatment of Amazon workers, as well as the massive amount of wealth he's accrued, Bezos has faced criticism for not being as generous as he could be. Although he pledged to donate large sums to charity, many believe he could do more to help those in need. 

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