A new photo of Eminem's daughter Hailie Mathers made the rounds online Thursday, but this is not the first time a supposed picture of her has hit the Internet.
But it turned out to be nothing more than an elaborate hoax, which was thoroughly debunked in the days following its release. In light of that debacle, is this new photograph really of Hailie Mathers, or is it just another trick by wily pranksters?
The new photo purportedly of Eminem's daughter, who turned 17 on Christmas, hit the popular website Reddit on Thursday, and quickly shot to the site's front page, where hundreds of people offered comments about her appearance, their thoughts on the rapper and his career, and more.
The image, which was uploaded to the photo-hosting site Imgur, shows two teenage girls, one of whom has an image of a red arrow pasted above her head, seemingly indicating that she is the girl being identified as Eminem's daughter.
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The girl in question has shoulder-length blonde hair, striking blue eyes, dangly silver earrings and seems to be wearing a devil costume, replete with red-horned headband, red tanktop and red-pronged trident.
Confirmed photographs of Hailie Mathers show her to be blonde and blue-eyed, but there is very little else to go on to determine whether the girl seen in the new image is actually her.
The photograph was uploaded to Reddit with the title "Eminem's Daughter Today," and it seems to have convinced a lot of Reddit users who took the assertion that she is mini-Mathers at face value.
But the controversy over the last time a supposed photo of her hit the Net is instructive, as it shows there is a market for images of Hailie that may entice tricksters to tout fake photographs to garner attention and clicks.
The way the May 2012 hoax went down is a classic case of Twitter fakery. Starting at least as early as January 2012, a Twitter and Tumblr user with the handle @Angry_Blonde tweeted repeatedly about Eminem, describing him as a great father:
"Im so happy that I got to spend a lot of time with my dad even though how busy he is, he is the best <3," she tweeted on April 9.
And a number of websites including Global Grind proceeded to cull photos from @Angry_Blonde's Twitter and Tumblr accounts and repost them alongside articles that repeated the claim that they were genuine images of Hailie Mathers.
But it turns out that @Angry_Blonde was nothing more than a con artist, as a publicist for Eminem told Huffington Post UK that her account was fake, and not controlled by his daughter.
Despite the thorough debunking of the notion that @Angry_Blonde is Hailie Mathers, the account's profile still includes the following tagline:
"I am back to twitter !! The REAL Hailie Mathers I have NO myspace! only Facebook and twitter."
And the May 2012 incident wasn't even the first time such a ruse had been carried out, as E! News reported that a similar hoax account was created in March 2011.
So despite the fact that huge numbers of Redditors seem to believe that the new photo really is of Eminem's daughter, it's best to look at it with a critical eye, as it could very well prove to be another fake image being spread erroneously online. For now, the world will have to wait until Eminem or someone close to him lets everyone know if the photo is real, or just another phony.
Born Dec. 25, 1995, Hailie Mathers has been in the limelight ever since her early childhood, featuring in the lyrics of songs by her superstar father including "Hailie's Song," "My Dad's Gone Crazy," and "97 Bonnie & Clyde."