Rumors and speculations can fly quickly in the ever-connected world of information, forcing us to wonder about the state of our cherished idols. The great actor and cinematic icon Sylvester Stallone has not been immune to these uncertainties. As the whispers continue, we are compelled to investigate the truth: Is Sylvester Stallone still alive? Let’s solve the puzzle, sort through the facts, and investigate the current state of one of Hollywood’s most lasting legends.
Is Sylvester Stallone Still Alive?
Sylvester Stallone is still alive and well. The actor and his brother Frank Stallone turned to social media to reassure the public of this reality after a hoax began circulating on Facebook and Twitter claiming the actor had died at the age of 71 from prostate cancer.
The prank, whose origins are unknown, was quite obvious – Stallone has been consistently working, most recently appearing in an episode of “This Is Us” and making multiple movies.
Perhaps that’s why he appeared to dismiss it in an Instagram post. “Please ignore this stupidity,” he added in the post, “alive and well and happy and healthy.”
“Still punching!” he said, referring to his most famous character, Rocky Balboa, a boxer. His younger brother, singer Frank Stallone, was even harsher on the perpetrators of the hoax.
“Rumors that my brother is dead are false. What kind of sick demented cruel mind thinks of things like this to post? People like this are mentally deranged and don’t deserve a place in society,” he commented on Twitter, adding, “I’m very protective of my older brother and I don’t find any humor in this fake post today on my brothers demise. It upset my 96 yr old mother so I’m doubly upset. I just can’t understand what makes these sick minded people tick?”
Rumors that my brother is dead are false. What kind of sick demented cruel mind thinks of things like this to post? People like this are mentally deranged and don’t deserve a place in society.@FoxNews @seanhannity @greggutfeld
— Frank Stallone (@Stallone) February 19, 2018
I’m very protective of my older brother and I don’t find any humor in this fake post today on my brothers demise. It upset my 96 yr old mother so I’m doubly upset. I just can’t understand what makes these sick minded people tick?@seanhannity @greggutfeld @FoxNews
— Frank Stallone (@Stallone) February 19, 2018
This is at least the second time that false claims about Stallone’s death have surfaced on the internet. The first time, as NME noted at the time, a phony CNN news of his purported “death” appeared on Twitter in September 2016.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. The actor is far from the first victim of a famous death ruse. They’ve been around for a long time. A tiny group of rock fans claimed Paul McCartney died and was replaced with a look-alike in 1966.
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In 2010, a Twitter user with fewer than 1,500 followers claimed that CNN reported Morgan Freeman had died in his Burbank home. The rumor quickly spread over the Internet, requiring CNN to clarify the situation.
The Twitter user later explained, “It was an inside joke between friends. I had no intention of things turning out this way.”
According to BuzzFeed media editor Craig Silverman, one reason hoaxes propagate, even from such a modest Twitter account, is that people care about celebrities.
“Fake news relies on viral sharing,” Silverman explained to Digiday. “If you think about why so many stars are subject to death hoaxes, they’ve been part of a pop culture that people have an emotional connection to. And that is at the core of what makes fake news work.”
According to Mark Bell, an adjunct professor at Indiana University who specializes in deception in digital media, many hoaxers find deception interesting.
“People like to lie,” Bell said in 2012 to the New York Times. “They get a thrill from it. There is a little hit of dopamine when you lie, especially a lie that is believed by somebody else.”
Some hoaxes are phishing schemes, such as the rumor spreading on Facebook in 2016 saying Brad Pitt had committed suicide. The post was designed to resemble a Fox News broadcast, complete with the network’s logo and the tagline, “A purported FOX NEWS Video showed that the Hollywood actor hanged himself.”
Users who clicked on the post were sent to a random page that demanded their log-in details, allowing hackers to obtain their personal data.
Meanwhile, some phony news websites that appear real at first appearance, such as “MSMBC” and “Usmagazine.us,” earn advertising income for each click. They exploit celebrity hoaxes on social media to get a lot of attention and money, as Jessica Contrera of The Washington Post wrote in 2016.
The majority of hoaxes may be prevented with a few Internet searches and a keen eye. Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post published seven simple ways to recognize a hoax, which include looking for a byline on the story, validating the source of the news, and checking for good syntax and punctuation. It’s important to know because, as long as Sylvester Stallone is alive, another celebrity death fake is only around the corner.
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If you want to know which other celebrities’ fake death rumors spread, read the following articles:
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In conclusion, Rumors about celebrities like Sylvester Stallone can travel quickly in this age of instant information and social media. Stallone is still alive and well, despite recent bogus reports to the contrary.
This instance highlights the ubiquity of celebrity death hoaxes, which are fostered by the public’s emotional attachment to celebrities and the sensationalism that drives fake news. Vigilance, fact-checking, and media literacy are still necessary for navigating the internet ecosystem and preventing disinformation from spreading.