The guy who sparked the “Taiwan Jones” madness would not tell BuzzFeed News whether his story was “fact or fiction.”
It didn’t take too long before someone with the handle @TaiwanJones_ went viral claiming to be the student…
…and soon another person with the handle @JonesTaiwan_ did the exact same thing and went even more viral.
That “Taiwan Jones” went viral several more times tweeting about the incident.
By Friday morning, “Taiwan Jones” became a national trending topic on Twitter.
Small, big, local, and international sites began running stories as fact that a student found out about his failing grade over Twitter.
Although some publications quickly updated their headlines and stories after realizing the ~real~ Taiwan Jones was someone still in question.
When BuzzFeed News made contact with Handy (@Old_Orleans, the original tweeter) he said he could “not verify” any of the details he tweeted about originally, like the student’s name or university.
“I can not verify what school the student attends, which is why I said 'if' in context of the tweet. I wasn't aware of how much power this relatable topic could have across the HBCU community as a whole,” Handy wrote BuzzFeed News in an email.
“I’m not really in the position to take phone calls, and I can’t really give an account to anything that was tweeted under the terms that I’d rather leave the tweet in,” he added.
A simple search on Howard’s e-mail directory page yielded no results for anyone named Taiwan Jones.
A source from the Howard University registrar's office told Complex that there are no current students enrolled at the school under the name “Taiwan Jones”.
BuzzFeed News has also reached out to the school, as well as a handful of individual students, who said they themselves are scrambling to figure out who this person could be on their campus.