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- Anthony Bourdain and other people named in this post weren’t connected to a proposed documentary film called “The Silent Children,” a spokesperson for the project has said, and they weren’t killed because of it.
On social media, the suicides of celebrities or public figures are sometimes exploited to advance a nefarious narrative, whether that’s to claim that the Clinton family is murdering political enemies or that people trying to expose a child sex trafficking cabal are being killed.
A recent Facebook post spreading online falls in the latter category, suggesting something untoward happened to Tim Bergling, the Swedish DJ better known as Avicii, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, chef Anthony Bourdain, and Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell.
"Isn’t is (sic) interesting that Avicii, Chester Bennington, Anthony Bourdain, & Chris Cornell all committed suicide while working on a documentary called THE SILENT CHILDREN about widespread pedophilia/trafficking… but the project was cancelled after Cornell’s death," reads the text accompanying photos of the four men.
"What is a man?," one Facebook account sharing the post said. "A man is someone who stands up to evil, risks his life, for good."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
First, medical examiners ruled the causes of death of all four men as suicides. There’s no evidence that they were killed, much less for their involvement in a movie about pedophilia, as this post suggests.
There was once a "proposed feature documentary" called "The Silent Children" that aimed to "expose the truths of child sexploitation and human trafficking." But a spokesperson for the project told Reuters in 2020 that none of the people in the Facebook post were connected to the planned film, which was shelved in 2017 before any of them died.
We rate this post Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, July 6, 2022
CNN, CNN’s Anthony Bourdain dead at 61, June 8, 2018
Chris Cornell obit, May 18, 2017
CBS News, A year after suicide, Avicii's father opens up about his "brave" son, Oct. 21, 2019
Rolling Stone, Chester Bennington’s Autopsy Report Released, Dec. 5, 2017
Rolling Stone, Chester Bennington, Linkin Park Singer, Dead at 41, July 20, 2017
New Yorker, A Haunting New Documentary About Anthony Bourdain, July 15, 2021
Associated Press, Family of Chris Cornell settles with doctor over his death, May 6, 2021
PolitiFact, Decades-old conspiracy theories about Vince Foster and the Clintons are still wrong, Nov. 8, 2019
PolitiFact, No, the Clintons aren’t responsible for more deaths than the coronavirus, March 16, 2020
USA Today, Fact check: False claim that celebrities' deaths linked to child sex trafficking documentary, Jan. 18, 2022
YouTube, The Silent Children Promo, visited July 11, 2022
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