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#TrumpIsDead Hoax or 2022 Donald Trump Death Hoax is an internet death hoax from early November 2022 revolved around the spreading of misinformation that former President Donald Trump died, spearheaded by the comedian Tim Heidecker and thought to be a test of Elon Musk's guidelines on misinformation following his acquisition of Twitter. Others then got in on the joke, creating parody news headlines and adding various aspects to the rumor, causing the hashtag "#trumpisdead" to trend on Twitter in the following days.
On November 1st, 2022, Tim Heidecker commented on audio from Donald Trump talking about the attack on Paul Pelosi, saying it sounded like Trump was dying. In response, user @drivebee replied with a joke reading, "I just heard from a friend that he died" (shown below, left). Heidecker then quote-tweeted @drivebee, writing, "there are 1 of 2 things that could be happening. trump is dead and they are covering it up or he is badly dying at the moment. Which do you believe?" In response, user @mylifeisabiglie tweeted a doctored CNN headline announcing Trump's death and a caption saying he died of autoerotic asphyxiation, gaining over 90 retweets and 420 likes in two days (shown below, right).
Later on November 1st, 2022, Heidecker continued playing up the gag and introduced the #TrumpIsDead hashtag to spread the rumor (shown below). He also included a jab at Elon Musk, suggesting he was "suppressing" the news on Twitter. This later led some publications to suggest the spread of the hoax was a test of how Musk would handle disinformation on the app, as Musk has implied he will be laxer about satire and misinformation on the app than his predecessors.
The hashtag was quickly amplified by other users on Twitter shortly after. For example, Twitter user @NathanTBernard posted the doctored CNN headline on November 1st, gaining over 3,100 retweets and 25,000 likes in two days (shown below, left). Also that day, user @Imagidadnation posted a bowl of Cheeto dust, joking they were Trump's ashes, gaining over 1,100 retweets and 9,400 likes in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).
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