The tweet about Donald Trump’s death was greatly exaggerated.
You may have woken up to the #TrumpIsDead trend Twitter This morning, then swipe to the news app of your choice to learn more.
Of course, there would be no such story there. The former U.S. president is still alive — in one of his favorite lines, the label is a cold case of fake news.
but in a coordinated attempt Elon MuskFollowing his acquisition, his stance on disinformation on the platform, a trending topic in the U.S. and beyond, was marked by hours Mr Trumpapparent demise.
Why is this happening?
As ever, when a trend emerges on Twitter, especially if it ends up being wrong or misleading, much of the discussion is driven by people who want to know what’s going on on Earth.
But it started out to essentially stick with new owner Musk, who has made content moderation — and his apparent desire to loosen it up — a key part of the acquisition conversation around him.
“#TrumpIsDead is the best revenge for Musk’s claim that disinformation is free speech,” said one.
Another who tweeted the hashtag added: “I mean, he’s probably still alive, but since we’re clearly heading in a new direction of fact-checking in Chief Twitt’s new world, I don’t think we’ll ever know.”
“Never has a label got bigger,” said one, echoing Mr Trump’s style of self-praise.
At its peak, tens of thousands of tweets pushed the hashtag to the top of the trending chart.
Verified accounts were involved in the joke, with one account of comedian Tim Heidecker getting nearly 10,000 retweets, while others mocked screenshots from news sites including CNN.
In the US, #TrumpIsDead even took over the World Series that night.
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How are trends determined?
Trending topics on Twitter come from the sheer volume of tweets and the work of an algorithm designed to tailor which topics appear based on an individual user’s interests and location.
However, if a hashtag or content violates its rules, Twitter will take action to stop it from becoming popular.
At least for now, this includes anything seen as platform manipulation or spam, as well as any form of so-called “social coordination” that could spread misinformation.
Twitter’s head of security and integrity, Yoel Roth, tweeted last night, as the hashtag trended: “We are wary of attempts to manipulate the conversation about the 2022 US midterm elections.”
Sky News has reached out to Twitter for comment on the Trump hashtag.
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Has Trump or Musk responded?
Since being banned from Twitter in January 2021, Mr. Trump has not spoken about his return to trending charts on his platform, Truth Social.
Musk also didn’t comment — but his latest tweet did relate to Trump’s Twitter status.
said earlier this year He will revoke Mr Trump’s banpeople have been waiting to see when suspended accounts can be reinstated.
But he tweeted overnight: “Twitter will not allow anyone who was taken off the platform for violating Twitter’s rules to get back on the platform until we have a clear process in place, which will take at least a few weeks.”
That means Trump won’t return until next week’s U.S. midterm elections as Musk works to create a new moderate committee Has “a wide variety of viewpoints”.