Did Jake Gyllenhaal Come ‘Out of the Closet’ as Gay, as Online Ads Claimed?

Claim:

An online display advertisement accurately reported that actor Jake Gyllenhaal publicly came out as gay.

Rating:

False

Context

The ads that made this false claim were misleading clickbait that attempted to entice readers to click or scroll through nearly 80 slides in an article on Reference.com. That article didn’t even mention Gyllenhaal. We’ve detailed below why these kinds of ads and articles exist in the first place.

In mid-December 2023, numerous false and misleading online ads were displayed to users that claimed actor Jake Gyllenhaal had come “out of the closet” as gay and was “out and proud of it.” The ads showed different captions, such as, “Gyllenhaal Out of the Closet,” “At 42, Jake Gyllenhaal Confirms the Speculation” and “Jake Gyllenhaal Addresses the Rumors.”

Online ads claimed that Jake Gyllenhaal had come out of the closet as gay and had addressed the rumors and confirmed the speculation.Just seven examples of the many ads.

These ads were nothing more than false and misleading clickbait. All of the ads led to an 80-slide article (archived) on Reference.com with the headline, “Stars You May Not Know Are LGBTQ+.” However, any readers who spent the time needed to click or scroll through all 80 slides in the lengthy story would have found that Gyllenhaal’s name wasn’t even mentioned one time.

The reason why these kinds of ads and articles exist is usually something called advertising arbitrage. Advertising arbitrage is a strategy in which an advertiser hopes to make more money on ads displayed in a lengthy article than it would cost to display an initial clickbait ad meant to attract users to the article. In other words, instead of the ads being both attractive and potentially helpful to consumers, they instead mislead users from the start.

Note: If readers would like to report any strange or misleading ads on Snopes, we invite you to contact us. Please include the full link of the website where the questionable ad led to so that we can attempt to investigate and potentially block any such ads.

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