Earlier this week, the gullible Huffington Post published, defended, and later retracted an article in its South African edition, calling for white men to lose the right to vote. The post was revealed to be a Sokal Affair-like hoax, written with the intention of outing the publication’s political bias. HuffPost South Africa reporters wasted no time in uncovering the author of the piece and confronted him at his place of work, and he was forced to resign.
And now Huffington Post SA editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay resigned this weekend following an investigation into the controversial article and a severe ruling by South Africa’s press ombudsman.
The CEO of Media24, which operates HuffPost in South Africa, issued a statement calling the article’s publication “hugely damaging” to their reputation.
“Responsible journalism is at the heart of what we do; it’s the currency we trade in,” said Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman. “In an era of fake news, I know only too well that our editors spend an inordinate amount of time checking the veracity of information before they publish. When our systems fail, we’re not just alarmed; we’re outraged. This is a sad day for journalism.”