Fact Check: Story About Trans Species Man Self-Identifying As Deer Being Shot By Hunters Is NOT Real

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: Story About Trans Species Man Self-Identifying As Deer Being Shot By Hunters Is NOT Real Fiction

Was a South Carolina man named William Tenenbaum and who self-identified as a deer shot by hunters because they mistook him for the real thing? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian entertainment website that makes a living by publishing fictional stories often involving weird crimes, bizarre sex acts or strange accidents. It is not real.

The story originated from an article (archived here) where it was published by World News Daily Report on November 11, 2020 under the title "Trans species man who self-identifies as a deer accidentally shot by hunters". It opened:

A South Carolina man who self-identifies as a deer has been transported to the hospital via helicopter after being shot by two hunters.

William Tenenbaum, 31, is lying in critical condition according to medical staff at Allendale County Hospital after being mistaken for a deer by two local hunters.

According to the two hunters, Tenenbaum was dressed and painted in the colors of a deer and was wearing antlers which made him unrecognizable to the two men.

A screenshot of the story has also been making the rounds on Facebook, for example in this post (archived here) :

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon May 31 12:03:45 2021 UTC)

The website World News Daily Report is a humor website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. 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.

On March 20, 2019 the site added a new header that included the slogan "Where facts don't matter" to make it clearer to casual visitors the published content is fictional:

factsdontmatter3.png

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

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International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
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