With the Eco account followed by almost 2,000 people, the news quickly spread and literary social media went into mourning – until doubts started to surface about its veracity. The Eco account has not been verified by Twitter as belonging to The Name of the Rose author, and its tweets were eventually dismissed as a hoax. "What if we said Umberto Eco died? A false account," tweeted the apparent – although not verified – account of the 85-year-old Márquez himself, @ElGabo. Jaime Abello Banfi, director of the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation, also denied the rumours, while Reuters' Mexico correspondent Cyntia Barrera Diazsaid a colleague had spoken with the Colombian ambassador to Mexico, and Márquez was in Los Angeles visiting family.
"Don't be upset about Twitter circulating rumours of Gabriel García Márquez's demise – this is exactly how magical realism works," said New York Times journalist Michael Roston. "Looks like the García Márquez news is hoax. What bastards. Chronicle of a Death Foretweeted ..." said author Stephanie Merritt, referencing Márquez's novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold.