Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports reported late on Thursday night that Chip Kelly had emerged as a serious candidate for the Ole Miss head coaching vacancy job, a week after Hugh Freeze resigned as the school’s head coach.
Y sources: Former Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly has emerged as a serious candidate for the head coach vacancy at Ole Miss. Story to come soon
— Pat Forde (@YahoooForde) July 28, 2017
However, if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that’s not a tweet from Pat Forde.
A tweet from Pat Forde looks like this:
New: Why did Houston Nutt's lawyer drop the escort MOAB on Hugh Freeze? "This is federal court, not junior high." https://t.co/XQhr2lQd9Z
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) July 24, 2017
Notice any differences? The real Pat Forde Twitter has a blue checkmark, for one.
But the fake Forde account also has an extra “o” in the name Yahoo. @YahoooForde (fake) vs @YahooForde (real).
Then there’s follower count. Fake Forde has 214 followers, while Real Forde has 339,000 followers.
Unfortunately, Sports Illustrated didn’t pick up on these things, and ran a story based on Fake Forde’s report. And the story has been up for over an hour now.
Let this serve as another reminder to always look for blue checkmarks and follower counts on Twitter, especially before publishing a story. It’s one thing to retweet a fake account, but actually publishing a story on a major outlet based on the (fake) report is another level of embarrassing.