Sometimes you just have to take a step back and say “W-T-F” to yourself.
A Twitter user formerly known as “A Pixelated Boat” was forced to change their handle to “the gorilla channel thing is a joke” after tweeting satire designed to look like an excerpt from a book about Trump. No wonder we have a fake news problem.
Wow, this extract from Wolff’s book is a shocking insight into Trump’s mind: pic.twitter.com/1ZecclggSa
— the gorilla channel thing is a joke (@pixelatedboat) January 5, 2018
The satire hits because it mimics Michael Wolff’s writing style in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” the book it’s brilliantly riffing on. But it’s incredibly far-fetched to think anyone would take it seriously. Right?
Don Cheadle, too pic.twitter.com/4y7rdnQxFv
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) January 5, 2018
This one got deleted pic.twitter.com/TxIhnLCiiz
— straynjer (@straynjer) January 5, 2018
Thank you for contacting us. The easiest way to request a channel be added to your current lineup is to click on the following link and fill out the request information. https://t.co/djbF65eQZ4. ^JK
— Ask Spectrum (@Ask_Spectrum) January 5, 2018
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s go ahead and break out a list. Lists are handy when you’re trying to comprehend something that appears to be beyond credulity.
In order to read the satirical passage and come away believing the events described actually happened you have to believe several things:
- The president of the United States thinks a Gorilla Channel exists
- White House staff would actually create The Gorilla Channel rather than tell him he’s wrong
- That said president would spend upwards of 17 hours a day watching said Gorilla Channel
Of course many people knew it was a joke, but others didn’t. Some didn’t fall for the Gorilla Channel bit, but still thought it was from the “Fire and Fury” book. They believed it was a vicious attack on the president from a lying author:
he deleted it, but: pic.twitter.com/2Rm8m6lZtJ
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) January 5, 2018
It’s human nature to make mistakes and we wouldn’t blame anyone for falling for a well-done satire – few among us haven’t fallen for an article or two from The Onion.
But there’s gotta be a tiny voice somewhere in the back of a person’s head when they get ready to push “send Tweet” and express unfounded outrage. The account where the screenshot came from tweets things like this:
I just ran the jewels and boy are my legs tired!!!! pic.twitter.com/yhGN9E1UVY
— the gorilla channel thing is a joke (@pixelatedboat) January 4, 2018
Looks like old Professor Science is up to his science tricks again! pic.twitter.com/Zc7WxD5Iry
— the gorilla channel thing is a joke (@pixelatedboat) January 2, 2018
Whether you fell for it or not doesn’t say as much about internet culture as the fact that – at the time of this writing – the number two trending topic on Twitter is “Gorilla Channel.”
Obviously there’s plenty of people willing to believe the contents of that tweet for different reasons.