Rumors that Steve Irwin's daughter died are now sweeping the Internet in the latest death hoax, but this time the media is not to blame.
The words Steve Irwin's daughter died are a trending topic on many major news websites like MSN, scaring the public into thinking that the later crocodile hunter's daughter died at 14-years-old. Steve Irwin's daughter, Bindi Irwin, is in fact alive and well, and the death hoax can be blamed on a "trends hiccup," as coined by Social News Daily.
So what is a "trends hiccup" and why did it say that Steve Irwin's daughter died? Internet aggregators monitor online activity in order to determine trending topics that are sparking widespread interest on a minute-to-minute basis. The reason Bindi Irwin's name began trending in the first place is likely due to an influx of press surrounding her new film Return to Nim's Island, recent pictures showing the crocodile hunter teen looking all grown up and a spat with Hilary Clinton.
Because Steve Irwin's daughter was garnering attention on the web, her name was picked up as a popular subject for users to explore, but because she was called Steve Irwin's daughter instead of Bindi, automatic association likely pulled in the term dies because of the Animal Planet star's 2006 death.
A Hong Kong interview. I had such a wonderful time there! http://t.co/DlIbQkRAbG
— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) June 13, 2013
Yet, despite the cruel, albeit unintentional, rumors that Bindi Irwin died, the young girl just posted a video of her recent trip to Hong Kong, including a flashback to her father's crocodile wresting days. Bindi Irwin now spends her days living up to Steve Irwin's legacy, serving as a wildlife conservationist and an attendant of the Australian Zoo.
"We literally live right in the middle of the Australia zoo, and that is really wonderful in itself," Steve Irwin's daughter said. "But it's also great because anyone who comes to visit us gets to experience a family of animals and keepers, and really take something with them. They end up having a greater appreciation of wildlife - and that's what it's all about, for me," Bindi said.