UPDATED 10/21/17, 11:10 a.m. ET: The Washington Post dug deeper into the story and discovered that, aside from Howard University, there is no one named Taiwan Jones attending either Howard College, the two-year school in Texas; or Howard Community College, located in Maryland. It also appears the @JonesTaiwan_ Twitter handle was recently changed from @SaucyIV_ to fit the narrative of this viral moment. The @TaiwanJoness_ account is an alt of known hoaxer “sergi esteban.”
When the Washington Post spoke with Handy about his tweet, he declined to comment on it, but after getting questioned about Taiwan Jones’s existence, he delivered the following statement: “I cannot verify what school the student attends, which is why I said ‘if’ in context of the tweet,” he said. “I wasn’t aware of how much power this relatable topic could have across the HBCU community as a whole, so I’d rather leave the tweet to live in speculation of what could be or could not be fact or fiction. Therefore, again, I cannot verify any information on this for a story to be made, but I hope you enjoyed it!”
See original story below.
Early Thursday morning, photographer Roy Handy shared an observation about a flight he had just taken. He sat next to a professor grading papers, and caught a glimpse of something notable—one particular student named Taiwan Jones had failed. Badly.
That tweet got a ton of attention, and the hashtag #FindTaiwan quickly gained momentum.
Eventually, Taiwan was found.
And then, three hours later, found… again?
So, which Taiwan Jones is real? Are any of them? Is there even a Taiwan Jones at Howard University to begin with?
As it turns out, no. A call to the Howard University registrar revealed there is no student by that name currently enrolled. So sorry, hashtaggers—it looks like all of the “Taiwan Jones” accounts are phonies.