How a white guy pretending to be a Feminist trolled the Huffington Post

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Remember that “White men should not be allowed to vote” article from The Huffington Post a few days ago that they initially defended and then deleted after realizing that the author doesn’t exist? It was written and submitted by a troll; a white male troll for that matter. The supposed writer of the article, one “Shelley Garland”, does not exist. The real author of the article has come forth to prove that he wrote it, and to explain why he did.

If there’s one thing this troll has taught us, its that The Huffington Post cares more about ad-revenue and promoting a narrative than publishing facts. Even as people were complaining about the racist tone of the article, Huffington Post writers were busy celebrating how much traffic the article was receiving:

On April 13, HuffPo SA (South Africa) published on its Voices section an article bearing this headline: “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” The article, a racist polemic written by a philosophy student who called herself Shelley Garland, suggested it was time to consider stripping white men of voting rights.
The article caused a sensation on the right. It was shared by Milo Yiannopoulos, the Daily Caller, the Washington Free Beacon, Breitbart News, and Fox News.
Though the article violated its own editorial standards, HuffPo SA initially defended the piece, noting that “Garland’s underlying analysis about the uneven distribution of wealth and power in the world is pretty standard for feminist theory.” In her defense of the article, editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay shared some of the rude comments the article had elicited, a demonstration perhaps that the author’s thesis was correct.
But even as HuffPo staff laughed and bragged about all the traffic the article was generating, a few things began to happen.

The authenticity of the writer of the article wasn’t questioned by HuffPost writers themselves, but by a third-party South African journalist who interviewed the alleged writer of the article. Things didn’t add up.

The Twitter account of the author was brand new (suggesting that it was created just for the purpose of this article) and had very little followers. There was also no record of her being enrolled at the university of Johannesburg, although she maintained that she was a student there. Something was definitely up:

A nosy writer (that’s a compliment) and editor in Cape Town, South Africa, named Laura Twiggs began asking Garland questions. Garland, whose Twitter account was brand new and had just five followers, offered responses that didn’t quite add up. Besides a Twitter profile, there was no evidence Shelley Garland existed.
Twiggs reached out to HuffPo SA. She was ignored. (Maybe they were too busy tweeting.) But as attention on the article mounted, so did pressure on Pillay to address the holes in Garland’s story and identity.

After the article was deleted, the real author of the article came forward to take a bow for a prank well played.

This guy had written the article and sent it to The Huffington Post under an alias (A fake profile he created, pretending to be a Feminist)… and he has evidence to back it up too.

It appears that Shelley Garland does not exist. A Facebook search reveals very little. One would assume a MA student in philosophy would have some of her work in the public domain. A reverse image search of her picture only finds hits on topics related to her blog. She is an apparition.
However, “Shelley Garland” reached out to us, and sent us her original email to Huffington Post as well as their response (We have deleted the name of the intern who responded to “Shelley” as that is not of material importance).
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“Shelley” did receive the Huff Po FAQ, which explicitly states that statistics or facts should have a link as evidence for that assertion. The fact that the piece did not adhere to the HuffPo’s own guidelines did not hamper the publishing thereof.
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Moreover, “Shelley” also received Huffington Post’s Terms of Use and User Agreement which contained the following paragraph:
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“Shelly” is actually a white male resident of South Africa who grew tired of all the racist rhetoric towards whites by the Feminist left, and decided to expose their bigotry.

“Shelley Garland” emailed his/her response to us as well.  The name “Nick Fannow” appears to be a pseudonym.
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Well played.

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