The New York Post has deleted a story about a 22-year-old who, the paper credulously reported, took out a secret second mortgage on his parents’ home to trade GameStop stock. A Twitter user has claimed responsibility for the story and insists he duped the outlet.
The URL where the story once was now turns up a landing page that asks, “Did you get lost?”
Meanwhile, a Twitter user who goes by Jack West — and was identified the same way by the Post — has been tweeting screenshots to back up his account that a reporter for the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid took a tweet claiming to take out a second mortgage without his parents’ knowledge too seriously and slid into his DMs to produce the story.
A representative for the New York Post did not immediately return a request for comment.
The story wasn’t up long enough on the Post website to get archived by the Way Back Machine, but one Twitter user posted what he said is the full text of the piece.
In it, the reporter says West “claims” he took out the second mortgage and used that money to invest “nearly $70,000 into the GameStop and AMC Theatres stocks” via the Robinhood trading app. A preview on Google does not use the word “claims” and states outright: “22-year-old risked parents’ mortgage on GameStop: ‘You only live once.'”
It is unclear if or when the piece was edited before its deletion.
The now-deleted story tapped into the media frenzy surrounding the Wall Street surge for stocks like GameStop and cinema-chain AMC Entertainment led by Reddit investors aiming to frustrate hedge funds and short-sellers that have counted on the companies’ share price to drop given their economics in the pandemic.
The online trading app Robinhood on Thursday suspended trading in GameStop and other companies due to surging capital demands in the sudden and highly volatile trading surge.