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No, photo of man sleeping – not dead – on the job

A meme shared on Facebook in January 2020 shows a man at a desk, his head back and eyes closed. A group of people are gathered around, all grinning into the camera, pointing at him and giving the thumbs-up.

“Man suffers heart attack, dies at work, coworkers gather for groupie selfie thinking he’d fallen asleep,” the text reads.

A reverse image search reveals that the meme’s photo has been circulating online for four years. In February 2016 it was posted on a Reddit discussion forum by the user TheOrangeDuke with the subject “TIFU by falling asleep at the job on my second day.”

The photo was later deleted because it violated one of the Reddit forum’s rules. But it had already gone viral, being reused in a range of memes and photoshopped images.

Was the man really dead, or just sleeping? We checked.

Intern at software company

TheOrangeDuke’s real name is Eduard Paraschivescu. In 2016 he was a student intern at the Canadian software company Gsoft.

Soon after the photo went viral, Paraschivescu reportedly told CBS News: “One of the associates noticed me sleeping. And it just went downhill from there.”

He added: “It doesn’t really bother me. I’m not naked, I’m not getting shamed. I’m just surrounded by amazing people who are having a blast.”

On 22 January 2020, a user asked Paraschivescu on Reddit: “How many times does this need to be posted before everyone learns it is fake?”

TheOrangeDuke responded: “Hey, to be honest - I did fall asleep, not dead, but the photo ain't fake.” – Butchie Seroto


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