Steve August 4, 2020

On August 4 2020, the Facebook page “Being Liberal” shared a screenshot of a tweet purportedly quoting United States President Tweety McTreason on hand sanitizer and a potential Joe Biden administration:

On Facebook, the screenshot was shared nearly 2,000 times in two hours. On Twitter, the tweet had similarly strong engagement metrics. Facebook commenters appeared to accept the tweet’s contents at face value:

“Every day he shows more mental instability. #25thAmendmentNow”

“Because he has an exclusive deal with them? They don’t plan to profit on the Trump Virus after he is on his way to jail?”

“Even though I can’t find anything to support the claim that he ever said this, I 100% believe that it’s something he would say without hesitation 😒

“This is one of his stupidest statements, well maybe, there are so many. How does making yourself look like such a fool get you reelected? I think he wants out.”

“So now he is attempting to black mail America to vote for him …or all those companies will cease operation and more people will die. How is this not Treason? He is threatening the public to do what he wants it else. I had thought America had had wars for freedom,and not to be held down by authoritarian figures. How is this not Authoritarian? He as well as the Republican senate ,and congressman should be placed on trail to answer to the people . This is beyond ridiculous. Every damn day. Something else. Treason. That is what it is. There was a reason it was placed in the constitution. How thick can people be not to recognize it?”

Or they entertained it as a sincere transcription of Trump’s remarks:

“Is this truly a quote? It sounds absurd, but…the past 3.5 years…”

“Scariest part of the current administration perfectly shown here. On first reading I was legitimately unsure if he said this or if it was just Meant to be funny. I could totally see him saying this. Worse yet; believing this.”

“i hope this is satire…if not why haven’t they hit him with a thorazine dart yet”

On Twitter, the tweet received engagement from high-profile users; author Stephen King retweeted the tweet, and Patricia Arquette commented:

Other users expressed their initial confusion before perusing comments on the tweet:

Arquette added a second response, suggesting the satirical nature of the tweet was not immediately clear:

A popular tweet that appeared to quote Trump saying that if Americans elect Joe Biden, “there will be no hand sanitizer,” and that he had “spoken to the hand sanitizer people” and that they had assured him that “they will only produce hand sanitizer for a Tweety McTreason administration” was indeed satirical. All references to the comment led back to the tweet, not any transcribed remarks or video. Although the tweet was a joke, that objective was clearly not apparent to all readers — nor to all sharers.

The post ‘If You Elect Joe Biden, There Will Be No Hand Sanitizer; I Have Spoken to the Hand Sanitizer People…’ appeared first on Truth or Fiction?.

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