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Fact Check-Story of man who ‘self-identifies as a deer’ stems from satire

A satire website is responsible for a storyline that is causing concern and comedic responses on social media. The November 2020 story claims that a ‘trans-species’ man, William Tenenbaum, was shot by two South Carolina hunters while presenting as a deer. The website publishing the report asserts in a statement on its website that it “assume(s) all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content.”

The post that features screenshots of a man body-painted as a deer with antlers can be seen here and here . Some users have responded with laughter, sharing the post with the comment, “Lol y’all lemme know when this ‘Self Identifying’ starts getting out of hand.” Other users have responded with words that could be concerning, such as “Dress like a deer and act like a deer imma shoot ya like a deer lol.” One post caption reads, “the countryside is dangerous but there are steps you can take to reduce the risks. Like not disguising yourself as a deer. Or a bear. Or wearing fur coats. Darwin’s natural theory in motion.”

The publisher of the website, World News Daily Report, seen archive.today/2TAU1 , routinely creates content that is false and farfetched.

Reviewing the article, research shows the visuals were taken from legitimate content published on other websites. The screenshots of the “deer” used to personify shooting victim William Tenenbaum were frames from a three-year-old YouTube video seen here titled “Deer in the Park” by the account Humanimals. A screenshot of a physician identified in the caption as Dr Alexander Pischtaki at Allendale County Hospital is also fictional. The doctor pictured is Dr Anthony Cardillo, an E.R. specialist at Mend Urgent Care in Sherman Oaks, California. Dr Cardillo can be seen here in a video from ABC 7 News in Southern California.

According to its website (www.humanimal.london/about), Humanimals is a company providing performers for events dressed in animal costumes and makeup.

World News Daily Report, which touts the slogan “Where Facts Don’t Matter,” posts openly on each page that “all characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.”

Reuters has previously debunked claims stemming from articles from the satirical website, seen here and here .

VERDICT

Satire. A story about a trans-species man being shot by hunters while presenting as a deer is fictional and intended as satire.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .

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