A hashtag promoted by one of those ‘Is so-and-so dead yet?’ websites, caused mass confusion among Twitter users Monday (April 8) after news broke that Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, passed away.
The site “Is Thatcher Dead Yet” changed their home page to read, “Yes: Margaret Thatcher is dead. This lady’s not returning.” Then they ask, “How are you celebrating? Let us know using the #nowthatchersdead hashtag on Twitter.”
The problem is, with no capitalization or punctuation in a hashtag, it can be easily and understandably misread. So, while the #nowthatchersdead hashtag rose to prominence on Twitter, many users mis-read it as “Now that Cher‘s dead,” rather than “Now Thatcher’s dead.”
WSJ posted a sampling of the tweets resulting from the ensuing social media chaos. Here are a few of the highlights, including a helpful explanation from do-gooder Ricky Gervais:
Nick Frost @Nick_Frost
Did Cher die?! #nowthatchersdead
Duke Slappington @sexyghosts
RIP CHER. Just saw the hashtag. Never was a fan myself but you’ve gotta respect her influence. #nowthatcherisdead
David Itzcovitz @ItzDaveMedia
RIP Cher. At least now we’ll find out about life after love. #nowthatchersdead
Ricky Gervais @rickygervais
Some people are in a frenzy over the hashtag #nowthatchersdead. It’s “Now Thatcher’s dead”. Not, “Now that Cher’s dead” JustSayin’
Nik Thakkar @nikthakkar
Between the Cher confusion and trolling, I am so embarrassed for social media and humanity right now. #nowthatCHERsdead
Oh, Twitter. What hast thou wrought? Cher, who is famously bizarre and wildly entertaining on the social media site, has yet to respond to the mixup.