The news ricocheted around the web immediately: CBS News was reporting that Tom Petty was dead.
It kicked off widespread reaction and remembrances on Monday, with star singers like John Mayer, Shania Twain and Jon Bon Jovi all paying tribute to Mr. Petty on Twitter.
It soon emerged, however, that the news was premature.
When CBS reported Mr. Petty’s death on Twitter, preceded by a capitalized banner “JUST IN,” the network attributed the news to the Los Angeles Police Department. In an article published online, there was no mention of the L.A.P.D., merely the phrase “CBS News has confirmed.” (CBS later deleted the tweet.)
Numerous other news outfits, including Entertainment Weekly, Slate and HuffPost, soon posted articles about Mr. Petty’s death, all attributing the news to CBS. Rolling Stone even got a statement from Bob Dylan, who said: “I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, …