Social media post sparks rumors that President Jimmy Carter died; he’s still alive

Updated: Jan. 22, 2020 at 11:50 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Just before 10 p.m. Wednesday night, WALB News 10 received a call that a woman was told President Jimmy Carter had passed away and that it was on social media. As protocol, the newsroom rushed to contact officials to confirm or deny his death. In a sigh of relief, we were told Carter was still alive. But how did all of this start? It appears it began with a Twitter post.

While reaching out to officials about the condition of Carter, we also began checking social media to find out who was talking about the death of the former president and native of South Georgia. He is a beloved and active figure in the area, especially in his hometown of Plains, where he was a peanut farmer before becoming the commander and chief of the United States.

The only social media “connection” we could find about the “death” of Jimmy Carter, came from Planters Peanuts.

On Monday, Planters Peanuts put out a commercial about the death of Mr. Peanut, as in the mascot for the company, not the peanut farmer turned president. However, a Twitter post about Mr. Peanut’s death had some asking if Carter had died.

A Twitter post asking about Jimmy Carter passing away after a Planter's Peanut ad.
A Twitter post asking about Jimmy Carter passing away after a Planter's Peanut ad.(Monk, Krista | Twitter/WALB)

Now, we do not know if this is where the rumors started, however, it is the only social media reference to Carter’s “death” we could find.

But according to Jill Stuckey with the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, as far as she knows, the 95-year-old former president is fine.

Before we could even ask about Carter, she already had the answer for us. Apparently, we were not the first to reach out to her about his condition Wednesday. She even received another phone call as we were getting off the phone with her.

So for those concerned about Former President Jimmy Carter, he is doing fine. And we send our best to Planters Peanuts on the loss of its beloved figurehead.

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