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News Channel Mistakenly Uses Photo of Music Vlogger to Identify Gunman in Oregon Shooting

A photo of Anthony Fantano (The Needle Drop) was used in a report about Umpqua Community College shooter Chris Harper Mercer.

Anthony Fantano is a music vlogger who posts video reviews of albums under the moniker The Needle Drop. Like most people who dare to have an opinion about music on the internet that may differ from the opinions of others, he is somewhat divisive. Some people dig his up-the-nose video style of candid reviewing. Others think he should… well, you can just read the comments, I guess. Sometimes he even gets in the middle of it with us here at Vice. (Fantanooooo!!!) But however you feel about him, please know that he is NOT the armed gunman responsible for the tragic mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon yesterday.


SBS News, the Australia-based news organization, made this error yesterday in their television reporting on the shooting, accidentally using a photo of Fantano in their broadcast, instead of Chris Harper Mercer, the gunman who was killed in a firefight with police. The mistake was likely a result of dozens of Twitter and 4chan users noticing that the actual photo of Mercer, below, sort of resembles Fantano and flooding the internet with side by side shots of the two.

Many caught the error:

Pretty sure that @SBSNews just used a photo of @theneedledrop to identify the gunman in the Oregon college shooting.

— tom mann (@Grattan_) October 2, 2015

@SBSNews Just a heads up, this is Anthony Fantano @theneedledrop, not the shooter Chris Mercer.

— Ryan Galbraith (@RGalbs) October 2, 2015

@theneedledrop Your picture was used in an Australian news program as the face of the school shooter. It's not you, right?

— Kevin Nguyen (@Thstasiankid) October 2, 2015

Here’s a screenshot of the video from SBS’ website.

And a video of the broadcast for international users.

An unfortunate mistake for Fantano, to say the least.

UPDATE: Fantano has addressed the incident, obviously, in video form. "Let's hope tomorrow's a little better," he signs off. Agreed.