From the day they first appeared on "Outlander" together, Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have been the subject of countless rumors. The biggest rumor, of course, is that the on-screen couple have commenced a relationship off-screen, as well.

Despite countless interviews given by both actors in which they confirm, over and over again, that they are not dating -- and, in fact, Caitriona mentioning that the prospect of constantly having to state, over and over again, that she and her co-star are not dating is "exhausting" -- sites all over the Internet have cropped up talking about how they're "ready to take their relationship to the next level" and how they're carrying on a "steamy love affair" behind the scenes.

But not only are these statements not true, they are, in fact, dangerous.

'Outlander' is a good show, regardless of who's dating who

In a previous story, it was pointed out that no less of an authority than William Shatner -- the "Star Trek" legend -- was tired of the so-called "Outlander" super-shippers. These super-shippers have, according to reports, repeatedly and incessantly cyber-bullied Mackenzie Mauzy, Sam Heughan's real-life girlfriend. And although Caitriona Balfe's real-life boyfriend, Tony McGill, isn't on social media, he too has been subjected to terrible name-calling and unfounded accusations by the so-called super-shippers.

At their most extreme, these "Outlander" super-shippers have sent death threats to people -- including William Shatner's publicity agent -- and published private information about Sam Heughan's ex-girlfriend.

Despite these actions -- and despite repeated denials by Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe -- click-bait sites insist on publishing lazy, irresponsible stories that insist these two are dating.

So, let's put this out there once and for all: the stars of "Outlander" are not dating. They never were.

A call to journalists covering "Outlander"

As journalists, our job is to report on the facts, no matter how unsavory those facts are. To continue to propagate lies in an effort to get clicks is not journalism.

It never was, and it never will be.

"Outlander" should be enjoyed for the show that it is. The two actors who play the lead roles are wonderful in what they do -- Caitriona Balfe, in fact, has been nominated for many awards for her portrayal of Claire Randall Fraser. They are so wonderful, in fact, that the fact that they clearly do not have an off-screen romantic relationship is irrelevant.

The two actors should not be conflated with their roles. And entertainment journalists, above all others, have a duty to make sure to report on the facts of "Outlander" -- to report things as they are, not as they, perhaps, wish they would be.