In the days since the Vols lost to Kentucky, social media has been flooded with false posts alleging Butch Jones was fired.

The rumors are totally false, and we can verify that Butch Jones is still the head football coach. He held a press conference Monday morning as he does every Monday during the season, and the university has not released any information about his future with the team.

Dozens of people on Twitter have posted false statuses that Jones had been terminated, with some using accounts disguised to be mistaken for people close to the football team.

Former Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge posted a warning to his followers, tweeting, "If the tweet is not from this account with the 3 on it & the blue check mark... then it was not me."

Fake accounts use similar pictures and usernames to try and trick unsuspecting users.

"We tend to see things on social media and hit the like or hit the retweet without thinking," said Nick Geidner, associate professor of journalism at the University of Tennessee. "I think a lot of people want Butch Jones fired right now, and so when they see a tweet shows up that says Butch Jones is fired, they retweet it real quick, because they want it to be true."

Geidner said there are clues that help people spot which accounts are real and which are not.

First, always look for a blue check mark beside Twitter or Facebook handles that indicate a verified account.

Next, check to make sure the name is spelled correctly in both the username and the twitter handle.

Finally, scroll through the account to make sure there aren't any posts that seem strange or out of place. If you think an account is fake, it probably is.


Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.