International French radio (RFI) had to apologize after the false publication of obituaries of a number of live celebrities on its website.
This is reported by the French edition of Le Figaro.
In total, about 100 obituaries were published.
Among the people prematurely “buried” by RFI were: Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood, French actors Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo, French film actress Brigitte Bardot, Italian actress Sophia Loren, Brazilian football player Pele, Polish-French director Roman Polanski, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin.
In addition, RFI published obituaries on Cuban leader Raul Castro, former US President Jimmy Carter, and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. All of them are also alive.
As the British BBC news agency notes, 77-year-old French businessman Bernard Tapie is particularly unlucky: previously, the French media “buried” him twice.
Obituaries quickly disappeared from the site. RFI subsequently apologized, explaining the incident as “technical problems”.
“We apologize to everyone involved and those who follow us and trust us. We are doing everything possible to correct this serious mistake,” the message reads.
As explained in RFI, the failure occurred when transferring the website to another content management system. Because of this, about a hundred unapproved notes were published.
Some of them ended up on partner sites (Google and Yahoo).
As the BBC notes, the media often prepare obituaries in advance in order to immediately publish them after the announcement of the death of a famous person.