The world was recently shocked by the news of a Canadian actor named Saint Von Colucci's passing in a hospital in Korea. It was said that he had undergone 12 plastic surgeries to resemble the popular K-Pop artist BTS's Jimin. However, it has now come to light that the news was a hoax.
In fact, there is no confirmation of Saint Von Colucci's existence, and it appears that the entire story was fabricated using AI software.
A report from the Variety states that journalists and media agencies took the news of Saint Von Colucci's death from two press releases in a group called ‘The Hybe Company PR’.
Several loopholes questioned the authenticity of the news
The press releases claimed that the actor had been discriminated against for his looks in Korea, but upon investigation, it was shockingly discovered that the hospital name mentioned in the press release doesn’t exist in reality. Even the firm’s website was launched a few weeks prior to the actor’s stated death date.
The press release also included many other loopholes like Saint Von Colucci was said to be the son of Brazilian model Adriana Lima and a hedge fund CEO named Geovani Lamas. However, Lamas has little online presence and is not the CEO of IBG Capital that the press release claimed him to be.
Further investigation said it was a hoax
When it was investigated further by AI Jazeera, Saint Von Colucci's life story seemed to be fabricated with images of him using an AI software. The actuar in reality has no online presence and just an IG page with name @papaxxzy that has unclear, hazy photos, and of course zero interaction with followers, Even the links to his projects or music do not exist there.
This incident highlights the growing concern of mis- and disinformation generated with the help of AI tools. As Felix M Simon, a journalist and doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute, told Al Jazeera, it will make the life of fact-checkers and journalists more difficult.
What confirmed it, even more, is that the South Korean media couldn’t find any police report of his death due to plastic surgery blunder. Meanwhile, Daily Mail Online, the news outlet that first reported the story, took down its article without any explanation or retraction notice.
In conclusion, the story of Saint Von Colucci's death was a hoax created by a group using AI software, and the actor may have never existed in the first place.
It is a reminder that we must always be cautious when consuming news and information and ensure that it is verified by reliable sources.