Dwayne Johnson is not dead, but parts of the internet thought he was.
The actor’s fans were briefly duped by a hoax image circulating on social media, suggesting he was dead at the age of 47 after a “stunt accident”.
The bogus headline came complete with an image paying tribute to the star, as well as the BBC News logo.
According to online fact-checkers Snopes, this is merely the latest iteration of a long-running death hoax running back all the way to April 2014.
The site describes the various viral fake stories as “clickjacking scams”, designed to spread online malware.
They wrote: “Users who take the bait often end up enabling rogue apps that request permission to access to their Facebook profiles and post under their accounts.
“Those who incautiously grant such permission end up seeing the original post spammed to everyone on their friends list.”
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Despite the repetitive nature of this recurring scam, social media users were shocked and surprised to see rumours of Johnson’s death spreading online.
— Jess🎈 (@jlouise17x) November 13, 2019
I don’t need anymore fake internet deaths you just had me thinking @TheRock was dead y’all canceled
— vodka aunt™ (@raewhite21) November 15, 2019
So I’m searching on YouTube and I get a suggested search for Dwayne Johnson dead at 47😱
— 1 𝙈𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙤𝙣% (@jojo_todoroki) November 15, 2019
Some, however, were quick to see through the rather transparent fakery and made light of the situation.
— Lydia Menendez (@lydia_menendez) November 14, 2019
Johnson has not yet responded to the latest rumour of his death, though he has made reference to similar hoaxes in the past.
Away from his rumoured death, Johnson this week announced that one of his most anticipated projects is moving forward in the shape of DC comic book story Black Adam.
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The star revealed the film is due in cinemas in December 2021 and described the character as “a rebellious, one of a kind superhero” in an Instagram post unveiling the project.
Johnson will be seen next in adventure sequel Jumanji: The Next Level and also has Jungle Cruise due on screens next summer.