Huffington Post SA doesn't verify identities of bloggers - Editor

Former Mail & Guardian editor and inaugural editor-in-chief of Huffington Post South Africa, Verashni Pillay, says the publication doesn't verify the identities of bloggers before publishing.

Pillay spoke to Talk at Nine Host, Karima Brown on Sunday night.

Last week Huffington Post SA, published an article titled: “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?”.

The author of the piece was a Shelley Garland, an “MA Philosophy Student”.

Columnist and blogger Tom Eaton wrote a piece on his blog titled “The Huffington Ghost: A New Low For SA Media” giving a detailed account of how Laura Twiggs who is a writer, editor and content specialist based in Cape Town took it upon herself to uncover the real identity of the author of the Huffington Post SA blog.

Twiggs' investigation uncovered that Shelley Garland who claimed to be an MA philosophy student from the University of Johannesburg was in fact a fictitious made up character.

We have never done identity checks. We accept people's blogs in good faith that they are who they say they are. This is something we need to immediately change, from now on I will ask people to give us proof of identity and so on.

Verashni Pillay, Huffington Post SA

Pillay also explained why they removed the blog from the publication's website on April 15.

We thought it would cause further damage to us.

Verashni Pillay, Huffington Post South Africa

Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip John Steenhuisen says Pillay needs to consider stepping down after this incident.

Pillay said she is in no position to answer Steenhuisen's comments, but she will "consider" everything he raised.

She admitted that this was an oversight on their part as the publication.

Listen to the full interview here...


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