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Twitter comedian @VRSJMS, aka Various Jams, just pulled off his most audacious prank yet. He changed his profile name and avatar to impersonate BBC News before tweeting that U2 singer Bono had died.
This is my new jam pic.twitter.com/OeygOQelsx— Various Jams (@VRSJMS) July 24, 2019
Though he’s since changed both his photo and display name back, the tweet is still up there and you can see that quite a few people were tricked.
What????? OMG— Crobb (@Crobb19) July 24, 2019
The rock singer Bono has died at his LA home at the age of 59.— Various Jams (@VRSJMS) July 24, 2019
Literally just shouted OH MY GOD NO ffs— Rykers (@cocorykers) July 24, 2019
Most of the responses, however, were by people who had spotted the username. Some joined in on the joke.
How? I'm punching him in the face right now— implicitdeny (@implicitdeny) July 24, 2019
Rest in Peace to Bono who is dead and is most assuredly not alive— L. Ron Hunnit (@KaylorCoons) July 24, 2019
He's been on The Edge for years.— Gareth Green (@ImperialMince) July 24, 2019
While others just appreciated it.
This is getting out of hand. Carry on.— Macksy (@moomadge) July 24, 2019
Where The Tweets Have No Shame— CICHEAL MOOK (@CichealMook) July 24, 2019
If shows up dead your suspect #1— Jin Jones (@UnicornTanooki) July 24, 2019
Not many people get a second chance like this. Don’t waste it Bono— hacky sack (@h4ckys4ck) July 24, 2019
At least one person was actually concerned for VJ.
This is irresponsible and could get you sued.— DB🗽☮🌊🌊🌊 (@DeBruler2324) July 24, 2019
Twitter user Mirza was a bit harsh.
At this point I don't think anyone cares if had died.— Mirza (@mirzahota) July 24, 2019
Some people were genuinely angry with him for tweeting about the fake death, though.
FU— (((AMF)))🐧🏒 (@AlyssaFafel) July 24, 2019
Get out of here with this fake news.— Marcus S. (@goodwillfiction) July 24, 2019
Delete this— george and martha's mom (@dottie64645510) July 24, 2019
You're evil. Go away.— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) July 24, 2019
One guy is actually trying to get VJ banned from Twitter.
@TwitterSupport - @VRSJMS impersonated BBC News (UK) and posted a fake death notice for Bono (below). I saw the actual tweet before he deleted it, and reported his account.— TonyD, Squad Mascot (@Dogger55) July 24, 2019
This is despicable. His account should be deleted. He should be banned.
RETWEET FOLKS, until he's gone. pic.twitter.com/L8Hg25J9cL
Far from being concerned, however, VJ seems to think it’s the funniest thing ever and has actually retweeted it.
Fantastic reaction here pic.twitter.com/hIEX6z5NtS— Various Jams (@VRSJMS) July 24, 2019
He also assured everyone that Bono is, in fact, alive and well.
Just to reiterate, rock singer Bono (59) is fine— Various Jams (@VRSJMS) July 24, 2019
Which got some funny responses of its own.
Can I report this for upsetting me?— COWBOY PICASSO (@gfro) July 24, 2019
@headshrinker81 holiday ruined. Kids crying— Lubo (@_lubo) July 24, 2019
Shame.— Death Before Brand (@Death_Before_) July 24, 2019
He then went on to tweet that actor Adam Sandler had died,—without the BBC avatar this time.
The actor and film producer Adam Sandler has died at his New York home at the age of 52.— Various Jams (@VRSJMS) July 25, 2019
Various Jams isn’t going to let anyone stop him. The Daily Dot has reached out to him for comment and will update this story if he gets back to us.
Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org