Comedian gets #TrumpIsDead trending to test Elon Musk’s Twitter moderation and the results are hilarious
Elon Musk's management of Twitter and its moderation procedures are being tested by comedian Tim Heidecker who posted a tweet in which he declared former US president Donald Trump to be dead. The comedian is a verified user on Twitter with a blue check mark.
Heidecker, well-known for his stand-up routines and TV appearances with fellow comic Eric Wareheim, created the hashtag #TrumpIsDead on Twitter. Heidecker expressed it in a brief series of tweets on former president Donald Trump, "Trump is dead (died badly)," and tagged Musk, saying that the billionaire "suppressed this news (or has he?)." Heidecker tweeted, "Here's what we know: 1. Trump is dead (died badly) 2. @elonmusk has suppressed this news (or has he?) 3. Donald Trump Junior is now just plain Donald Trump please like and share." "I heard he died in a sad and sick way (not as a dog, but this reporting could change soon)," he added in another tweet. The hashtag #TrumpIsDead started trending on Twitter on Tuesday within an hour after Heidecker's tweets received close to 20,000 likes and thousands of retweets. The popular tweet has amassed numerous replies on the thread as one user said, “The whole #TrumpIsDead really is not funny. I got so excited thinking it was true." Another one added, "Finally some good news #TrumpIsDead."
i heard he died in a sad and sick way (not as a dog, but this reporting could change soon)— Tim Heidecker: Sole Host of On Cinema (@timheidecker) November 1, 2022
One user went on to say, "My mother taught me only to say good of the dead. Donald Trump is dead. Good." Another person commented, "What a relief that #TrumpIsDead. I mean, he might be alive, but since we're apparently going a new direction on fact-checking in Chief Twit's new world, I guess we'll never know."
One user suggested, " Not suspicious at all that Trump dies, and the Elon-controlled social media won't publish the news. Nope. Nothing to see here at all. We're gonna see a body double within a week to try and "prove" it's all the lie. Don't be fooled. Look for the truth. #TrumpIsDead."
The posts remained unanswered or uncommented by Musk. Since gaining control, he has continued to be a very active user, tweeting and replying to other users' tweets frequently every day. Under Musk's direction, the moderation of false information, disinformation, hate speech, and other harmful content on Twitter has fast become a problem. In fact, Musk updated his Twitter bio on October 31 from Chief Twit to Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator. In the days following Musk's takeover, the use of insults and hate speech skyrocketed. Since he took charge, the platform has also put restrictions on how many employees are permitted to delete this kind of content, according to Bloomberg. Despite the Musk change, Twitter's head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, claimed that the company's regulations were "still being enforced at scale." "This is exactly what we (or any company) should be doing amid a corporate transition to reduce opportunities for insider risk," Roth said of the reduced access to moderation tools.
Heidecker's thread might be a significant test for Roth and Musk. The joke was rapidly picked up by thread commenters, who offered a variety of humorous but false modifications to what actually happened to Trump or what might have happened.
The whole #TrumpIsDead really is not funny. I got so excited thinking it was true.— ON MY VIGILANTE SHIT 🌙✨ (@poppydisagrees) November 1, 2022
My mother taught me only to say good of the dead. Donald Trump is dead. Good.— PnutButta 🏳️🌈 #BLM 🌊 (@PnutButta3) November 1, 2022
What a relief that #TrumpIsDead. I mean, he might be alive, but since we're apparently going a new direction on fact-checking in Chief Twit's new world, I guess we'll never know.— Jacob (@Bearwhale) November 1, 2022
Not suspicious at all that Trump dies, and the Elon-controlled social media won't publish the news. Nope. Nothing to see here at all.— Abortions Good, Guns Bad (@ThisJamesDude) November 1, 2022
We're gonna see a body double within a week to try and "prove" it's all the lie. Don't be fooled. Look for the truth. #TrumpIsDead
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