Twitter is in an uproar after user @pixelatedboat posted a joke tweet with an “excerpt” from Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” a book about his experience in the Trump White House.
The “excerpt” claimed that White House staffers had created a fake “gorilla channel” for Trump, which he watched for 17 hours a day.
The sad part? People didn’t realize it was a joke:
Wow, this extract from Wolff’s book is a shocking insight into Trump’s mind: pic.twitter.com/1ZecclggSa
— pixelated boat [ASMR] binaural ~4 hours~ (@pixelatedboat) January 5, 2018
The sharing of the tweet was so widespread that the user temporarily changed his display name to “the gorilla channel thing is a joke.” (It has now been changed back.)
As of the time of this posting, the tweet has almost 26,000 retweets and 87,000 likes.
Many users, after realizing they’d been duped, tried to make excuses about how it wasn’t that far from the truth. However, it seems rather pathetic that so many Twitter users cannot identify satire.
What can we learn from this? Jokes can often be used tastefully to draw attention to your brand. Unfortunately, jokes are not always conveyed well over the internet. That’s why, if humor is used in social media, it is important that the content conveys a clear, simple message that cannot be misinterpreted. Additionally, like all communications, they should be reviewed by multiple people before publishing.