Media

The Huffington Post Made a Big Mistake in Its St. Louis Shooting Coverage

"I should not be having this much fun right now."

Image via Twitter

After the fatal police shooting of another 18-year-old black man in a St. Louis suburb Tuesday night, news outlets scrambled to cover the story.

The Huffington Post landed a juicy source hours after the shooting: Antonio Martin's best friend, who witnessed the shooting firsthand.

Except the man turned out to be a fraud.

The source, going by DesJuanTheThug on Twitter, claimed to have witnessed the shooting, and was interviewed by the Huffington Post.

Image via @passantino Image via @passantino

But two hours after tweeting that Martin was his "best friend" who "just died in front of me," DesJuanTheThug sent out a different message: "Tell The Huffington Post to do a better job of finding credible sources."

DesJuanTheThug was just "trolling."

Other journalists noted the duping, while outlets including Sky News and the International Business Times ran the false quotes.

Some on Twitter responded with outrage, attempting to reveal DesJuanTheThug's real identity and calling for him to face consequences for making a joke out of a person's death.

For his part, DesJuanTheThug appeared to be using the shooting for social media gain, tweeting out links to his SoundCloud and Snapchat information and taunting those outraged by his actions.

The Huffington Post added this correction to its story on Brown:

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story included an interview with a man claiming to have been at the scene of the shooting and friends with the deceased. As police have released statements saying the second person involved in the incident has fled the scene, the source is now suggesting he was never there.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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