A viral Facebook post revives an old evidence-free rumor about deaths at a Michael Jackson concert to complicate criticism of Travis Scott over the 2021 Astroworld music festival tragedy. Let’s take a look at the facts.
Evidence-free claims tied to controversial current events are always suspect and should not be shared until they’ve been verified — especially when they include a red-flag phrase such as, “let that sink in.” This is just one of several false claims that circulated in the wake of the fatal crowd surge during Scott’s performance at the 2021 Astroworld music festival in Houston. Some sought to shift blame away from Scott, while others tried to use the deaths to push COVID-19 misinformation and other falsehoods. According to Snopes, this particular rumor about Jackson has appeared on clickbait websites since at least 2019.
- “Facebook posts falsely link Astroworld deaths to Covid-19 vaccines” (AFP Fact Check).
- “No, Travis Scott didn't get everyone in the Astroworld tragedy free therapy” (Joshua Bote, SFGate).
- “No, the Astroworld tragedy wasn’t a satanic ritual” (Ciara O'Rourke, PolitiFact).
- “Fact check: False claim about 23 deaths at a Michael Jackson concert” (Bayliss Wagner, USA Today).
- “Did 23 People Die at a Michael Jackson Concert?” (Dan Evon, Snopes).
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