Huffington Post Retracts Article After Realizing Author May Not Exist

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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The Huffington Post South Africa retracted a blog piece Saturday that argued for denying white men the vote after realizing the author might not even exist.

The blog piece, “Could It Be Time to Deny White Men the Franchise?,” argued Thursday that white men should not be allowed to vote because they had caused much of the world’s problems. (RELATED: HuffPo Blogger Calls For US To Deny White Men The Right To Vote)

The publication’s Editor-in-Chief Verashni Pillay admitted to the public that the outlet had been duped and the author of the piece might not even exist.

“The blog submission from an individual who called herself Shelley Garland, who claimed to be an MA student at UCT, cannot be traced and appears not to exist,” Pillay wrote Saturday.

The day before retracting the article Pillay came out to defend the piece and its argument. Pillay accused readers of sending HuffPo South Africa “overtly racist, sexist and violent” emails before explaining how the argument to deny white men the right to vote is valid.

“Those who have held undue power granted to them by patriarchy must lose it for us to be truly equal. This seems blindingly obvious to us,” explained Pillay.

Now that the article’s author seems to be non-existent, Pillay reaffirmed the publication’s commitment to verify bloggers. She also seemed to take back her defense of the piece’s argument.

“We further understand that universal enfranchisement followed a long struggle and we fully support this,” she wrote. “In addition, Huffington Post South Africa is a signatory to and supporter of the South Africa Press Code. We support free expression as limited by the following value as set out in that code.”

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