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#nowthatchersdead is a Twitter hashtag that can be read either as “Now Thatcher’s dead” or “Now that Cher’s dead” depending on its capitalization. While it may have been iniitally associated with the death of Margaret Thatcher in April 2013, the hashtag quickly took on a different meaning to imply that the American singer and pop culture icon Cher died.
On April 8th, 2013, prominent British conservative politician and former prime minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher died of a stroke. Befitting her reputation as the “Iron Lady” who redefined British and modern European politics, the news of her death was met by mixed feelings from liberals and conservatives on Twitter. Meanwhile, it soon became apparent that many younger Twitter users had little knowledge who Margaret Thatcher was, especially after the British boy band One Direction’s Harry Style tweeted a condolence message.
RIP Baroness Thatcher .x— Harry Styles (@Harry_Styles) April 8, 2013
The confusion quickly prompted the launch of the Tumblr satire blog Who is Margaret Thatcher, numerous articles concerning the public unawareness of the Thatcher’s legacy, as well as the duplicit Twitter hashtag #nowthatchersdead.
In between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. (ET), #nowthatchersdead was used in nearly 7,000 tweets, according to the Twitter analytics service. In the following hour, the hashtag prank was tweeted by British comedian Ricky Gervais and several journalists, further propagating the hoax that Cher was dead.
Some people are in a frenzy over the hashtag #nowthatchersdead.It’s “Now Thatcher’s dead”. Not, “Now that Cher’s dead” JustSayin’— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 8, 2013
New York Daily News – Stay calm, everybody! Cher’s not dead, it was Margaret Thatcher