Huffington Post removes false story about Marissa Mayer buying San Francisco mansion

The Huffington Post published a story Friday saying Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and her husband Zachary Bogue bought the most expensive home in San Francisco history — a $35 million mansion on Billionaire’s Row.

The story’s lead read: “Help launch one of the biggest companies in the world: Check. Hire The Killers to play at your wedding: Check. Install a baby nursery in your office: Check. Buy the most expensive house in the most expensive real estate market in the country: Why not?” (Screenshot by Mallary Tenore)

 

The only problem is, Mayer and Bogue didn’t purchase the house. Mayer said as much in a tweet Sunday:

Sunday night, The Huffington Post removed the article and added this editor’s note in its place:

A story has been removed that indicated Marissa Mayer and Zach Bogue bought the most expensive house in San Francisco history. Mayer later tweeted that they did not purchase the property in question, which is situated on the city’s famed Billionaires Row. Real estate records only confirmed that the deed transferred in March to “Bellihouse LLC,” which appears to be unrelated to Mayer or Bogue. The property was assessed at $23.8 million. While none of the parties involved have publicly confirmed the final sale price, it’s likely one of the most expensive in the city’s history. We regret any confusion and hope the buyers enjoy their new home.

It also tweeted a response to Mayer:

 

The correction/editor’s note does not appear on The Huffington Post’s corrections page, which hasn’t been updated since February. (Spokesman Rhoades Alderson said by email that “corrections and editor’s notes are generally made on the page of the corrected post” and that the corrections page features articles tagged with the word “correction.”)

HuffPost wasn’t the first news organization to report the false news; on Sept. 1, The Daily Mail reported that Mayer and Bogue had bought the mansion, attributing the news to Radar Online. The rumor gained more traction, though, after the Huffington Post published its story. Several news sites picked it up, including MSN.

In late August, Business Insider highlighted Mayer’s house in a feature about the most expensive homes among technologists, noting that it’s “a surprisingly modest home for someone of her stature.”

Her home, which was built in 2006, is worth about $5.3 million, according to the Santa Clara County assessor’s office. Mayer also has a $5 million penthouse on the 38th floor of the Four Seasons in San Francisco.

Related: How journalists can do a better job correcting errors on social media

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  • jillkennedy
  • JTFloore

    any tips on how to SPOT false info on the net BEFORE falsely reporting it? this one sounded plausible. should EVERYTHING you pass along be checked? with all sorts of incredibly clever hacking going on, virtually nothing on the net can be — or should be — believed.

  • nratt

    Is that a non-correction correction?