Blogger Andrew Bucket began leaving messages about Whibley's death on Twitter at the weekend. The joke between Bucket and his editor quickly spread across the internet.
"Friends of DC music in Las Vegas have confirmed, to much much sorrow throughout our city that Deryck Whibley, who played so many early shows in DC's punk scene, has died today," read a post on Bucket's blog.
"He was found at 10.45am by his girlfriend Hanna Beth Merjos. Details to come, we are all still reeling."
Sum 41's Red Light Management denied the reports, insisting that Whibley was "very much alive and well". Later, Bucket also confirmed that he had made up the story to discover how quickly a rumour could circulate online.