The popular American TV host asked Twitter’s new owner to remove a hashtag implying that he had died
Twitter CEO Elon Musk refused a request by US comic Jimmy Fallon to stop the spread of a hashtag suggesting that he died. Since purchasing Twitter and firing many of the platform’s content moderation staff, Musk has waded into several disputes with high-profile celebrity users.
The hashtag “#RIPJimmyFallon” began circulating on Twitter on Tuesday, with pranksters sometimes posting the message alongside images of unrelated celebrities.
In a tweet on Tuesday night, Fallon himself asked Musk to “fix this,” referring to the hashtag. “Fix what?” Musk replied on Wednesday morning.
As Musk’s supporters jeered at Fallon, the primetime TV host deleted his tweet.
When Musk first announced his intention to purchase Twitter earlier this year, he said he was motivated by a desire to unwind some of the more restrictive censorship policies enacted by the platform in recent years. After completing the $44 billion purchase last month, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO initiated mass layoffs of content moderation and marketing staff.
Musk has also publicly fired a number of employees who criticized him on his own platform, and has engaged in arguments with celebrities and public officials. When New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed his $8 per month subscription plan earlier this month, Musk replied “Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8.”
Lying or posting misleading hashtags is not a breach of Twitter’s terms of service, and pranksters and trolls regularly use the site to spread false rumors. A notable example is the blaming of multiple mass shootings in the US on internet comedian Sam Hyde. Earlier this year, posts claiming that Hyde was a fictitious Ukrainian fighter ace fooled sitting US Congressman Adam Kinzinger.
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