“Will the real Taiwan Jones please stand up?” That’s the message going around Twitter after a Howard University student named Taiwan Jones found out through social media that he had failed his midterm. The message came from a man named Roy who goes by @Old_Orleans on Twitter. The tweet read, “This professor graded tests next to me the whole flight. If there’s a Taiwan Jones at Howard, boy you failed the f*** out ya midterm.” At the time of writing, the tweet has nearly 60,000 retweets and over 200,000 likes.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. There Is No Taiwan Jones Enrolled at Howard University
Almost as soon as Taiwan Jones’ name went viral, multiple Taiwan Jones accounts began springing up on Twitter. One that showed a bio including, “Howard ’19,” and was deemed to be credible.
As if to add to his credibility, that Taiwan Jones tweeted this:
Though the Washington Post later reported that there is no Taiwan Jones enrolled at Howard University. The newspaper added that there is no Taiwan Jones at Howard College in Texas or at Howard Community College in Maryland.
Academic Will Broussard tweeted at @JonesTaiwan even, writing “Man, we’re all pulling for you! In 8 weeks flash the transcript and show the shake back! Good luck!” It’s clear however that whoever the person behind @JonesTaiwan_ is, is also the person behind the now-deleted @SaucyIV_. You can view a cache of this page here. Both accounts have many of the exact same tweets. @SaucyIV_ appears to be an aspiring professional gamer. A Twitchy profile for him says that his name is Trent, he’s 16 years old and is Canadian.
2. The Search for the Real Taiwan Jones Is Still Going On
So the search for the real Taiwan Jones goes on. Another seemingly credible account, @TaiwanJoness, does not appear to be legit. He refers to himself as a “Marketing student at Howard.” Although an account with the same profile photo, @Robinxvl, said the account was fake in a conversation with a follower. @Robinxvl identified himself as the person behind @TaiwanJoness. Tweets from that account also show that Robinxvl reveled in turning down Buzzfeed’s request for an interview while deleting requests from the Washington Post.
The search for the real Taiwan Jones is seemingly never ending. Even the North Koreans are getting involved with the Twitter account DPRK News Service tweeting, “”Taiwan Jones” is most popular name for western children born in 2017, according to US demographic database Twitter.
3. Around 12 Hours After the Original Tweet; Someone Tweeted a Similar Story Involving a Student From Butler University
At around 9 p.m. on October 19, a tweeter named @LilYeti wrote, “Yo a professor graded midterms next to me on the plane. If there’s a Michael Turner at Butler, boy you failed the f*** outcha calculus test.”
Understandably, those having fun at Jones’ expense are promoting an unending stream of gifs. Here are some of the best:
4. NFL Linebacker Taiwan Jones Has Quashed Rumors that He Is Not the Taiwan Jones
Former New York Jets linebacker Taiwan Jones aka @TJ_Spartan34 has tweeted to confirm, “I was not the Taiwan Jones that failed the midterm but I hope the one that did gets some extra credit lol.”
5. Roy Handy aka Old_Orleans Is Reveling in His New Found Internet Stardom
Old_Orleans aka Roy Handy is reveling in his contribution to the Taiwan Jones phenomenon. According to his official website, Handy is an Atlanta-based visual designer and photographer. At the height of the craze, Handy tweeted, “In the midst of everyone tryna #FindTaiwan, I appreciate ya’ll retweeting my work. That’s pretty cool. I love you all.”
Later, Handy told the Washington Post, “I cannot 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, 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!”