Fact check fail: Sports Illustrated duped by fake Twitter account story on Ole Miss Coach - iMediaEthics

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(Credit: Flickr/Ervins Strauhmanis)

Sports Illustrated fumbled the ball with a tweet about  Ole Miss possibly hiring former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. The site unpublished a story after failing to fact check a tweet saying so, Deadspin reported.

The Sports Illustrated story was based on a fake Twitter account for Yahoo Sports reporter Pat Forde, @YahoooForde. iMediaEthics has written to Sports Illustrated to ask how the error occurred and how long the story was published.

The real Pat Forde told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “The real Pat Forde isn’t reporting anything about Chip Kelly and Ole Miss. And as a 40-year subscriber to Sports Illustrated, the real me is sorry to see one of the most painstakingly accurate publications in American history make such a silly error.”

Forde lamented,

“It’s easier than ever these days to be duped by fake news via social media, which makes it more important than ever for journalism outlets to vet what they’re seeing and reading. One unfortunate manifestation of quick-trigger story publishing is the near-total lack of fact checking or editorial backstopping. It’s helpful to have someone with an actual journalistic background who can stop, think and ask questions before simply going with whatever pops up on social media.”

While the story has been unpublished, Google Cache stored a copy of the article, which stated in part, “Chip Kelly has emerged as a ‘serious candidate’ for the Ole Miss coaching vacancy, Pat Forde of Yahoo reports.”

SI ran a few paragraphs on the rumor anyway, attributing it to Forde and linking out to the fake account,” according to Deadspin. “(Until SI’s post, the tweet hadn’t gotten much traction—fewer than three dozen retweets.)”

See a screenshot below.

Pat Forde from Yahoo Sports tweeted after the hoax, “The real me is in Montana and not reporting anything about Chip Kelly and Ole Miss. Carry on.”

UPDATE: 7/31/2017 2:25 PM With response from the real Forde

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Fact check fail: Sports Illustrated duped by fake Twitter account story on Ole Miss Coach

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