Social media storms are ten a penny these days, but it seems as though the latest has whipped up quite the frenzy. It all centred around Cristiano Ronaldo and what appeared to be a mishap at the barbers.
The Portuguese superstar took to the field for his country's crucial World Cup tie against the USA last evening with a lightning bolt-esque motif shaved into the side of his head. Cue derision from the watching millions over his follicle faux-pas.
RONALDO CHARITY WORK
However his critics were then forced to beat a hasty retreat when the word went round that his hair style was in fact a tribute to a young boy named Erik Ortiz Cruz, who had undergone brain surgery to remove a tumour. Ronaldo had apparently styled his hair in such a way so as to match the youngster's scar on his head.
Time to feel bad, right? Well maybe not. The Real Madrid ace did indeed pay €60,000 for the youngster to have surgery in order to ease the symptoms of his condition, cortical dysplasia, which apparently caused him to have up to 30 seizures a day - but there is little evidence to suggest that his hair style and the surgery were related.
WORLD CUP TWITTER ACCOUNT
The reason the story gained some traction was because it was tweeted by the official FIFA World Cup account, with over 18,000 users on the social media website sharing the story.
However, it seems as though young Erik had his operation back in March judging by the date of the article that was shared by FIFA along with a picture of Ronaldo's haircut.
Also, cortical dysplasia isn't a condition caused by a brain tumour, but rather because parts of the brain fail to develop properly during pregnancy - so the likelihood of him having such a scar appear small. Indeed, this picture uploaded by his mother on Facebook shows no evidence of a scar last month.
Finally, there has been no confirmation from Ronaldo over his haircut, although that is not surprising given that he rarely talks about his charity work.
So where did this story actually originate from? Well it seems as though it came from this account belonging to a man called Leonard. He tweeted the image around three hours before FIFA did and got himself over 10,000 retweets. It is unlikely he actually did come up with the story but it appears as though it was his tweet which popularised the myth.
NO COMMENT FROM RONALDO
Of course there is no definitive to say the hairstyle was nothing to do with the child, and that will continue to be the case until Ronaldo speaks out in public about it. Don't hold your breath.
But aside from being injured and struggling to help Portugal up their game at the World Cup - they are on the verge of elimination with one group-stage game to go after their 2-2 draw with the USA last evening - it seems as though he's also been the subject of a false social media viral story.
False, viral, and social media in the same sentence; who would've thought it?