No, Adam Sandler is not dead.
For the third time in just a little over a year, a viral death hoax has targeted the 50-year-old actor, using a common template that has fooled many readers in the past. The story of Sandler’s alleged death came from a site called Linkbeef, and claimed that Sandler was found dead in his home after returning from rehab.
The Adam Sandler death hoax likely would have seemed odd to anyone who took the time to read it, as it contained a number of grammatical errors and used the British spelling of many words. It also borrowed some details from the real-life death of actor and comedian Robin Williams.
“Sandler had recently returned to a rehabilitation centre to ‘fine-tune’ his sobriety, the Los Angeles Times reported in July.
“The local Sheriff’s office said Sandler was found unconscious and not breathing at his home near Tiburon, north of San Francisco.
“‘At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made,’ police said in a statement.”
If the story claiming that Adam Sandler died seemed familiar, that’s because the same Linkbeef article went viral two other times, including back in April. That death hoax corresponded with the release of Sandler’s Netflix movie, The Do-Over, in which his character faked his own death.
And in September, 2015, the same story made an even bigger splash on social media and even garnered some attention from mainstream media outlets.
It’s not clear if there is anything that triggered the Adam Sandler death hoax to pop back up again. The actor has been relatively quiet in recent weeks, with some media coverage when he and his wife were spotted in Los Angeles during the holidays, but otherwise no major events have occurred that might trigger the hoax to revive on its own.
Sandler has been one of the most popular targets for death hoaxes over the last few years. Long before major news outlets were reporting on so-called “fake news” that sprung up during the 2016 presidential election, there were fabricated stories about celebrity deaths circulating on social media. These stories sometimes come from people looking to see how far the rumors can spread and other times are linked back to news sites looking to gain some revenue from people fooled into thinking the death hoax is real.
One of those sites, called MediaMass, could be another driver of the Adam Sandler death hoax. The site has identical stories about “death hoaxes” for dozens of celebrities, ones that appear to be generated by some kind of program rather than written by a real human being. The stories are meant to “debunk” death hoax rumors, but are written in such a way that they appear high in search results for terms like “Adam Sandler dead 2017.”
Celebrity death hoaxes have hit everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Michael Jordan, and some people have been targeted a number of times. Will Smith was declared “dead” more than once, and his son, Jaden Smith, was the victim of a string of celebrity death hoaxes that lasted several weeks back in 2016.
The current Adam Sandler death hoax, flimsy as it may be, still managed to fool a number of people online. Some of those people took to social media to express their condolences or confusion at the news that the beloved actor was dead.
Why have I just saw on Facebook that Adam Sandler has been found dead?
— Morgan Wheeler (@morgssw) January 8, 2017
So if you come across a story claiming that Adam Sandler is dead, just keep scrolling past the link and know that he’s alive and well.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]