Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True

John Oliver's Donald Trump Episode Breaks The Internet

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 01 Mar 2016 10:36:10 Z)

HBO comedian John Oliver spent an entire episode of his show Last Week Tonight discussing the Donald Trump phenomenon. He agrees that Trump's antics are 'objectively funny' but then tears into him for a solid twenty minutes. He accuses him of being a liar for saying he was invited on the show 'several times'. Oliver categorically denies this ever happened. Other points mentioned during the rant include the way in which Trump finances his campaign, Trump's fingers, Rosie O'Donnel, 'having the best words', Trump's bankruptcies, his actual net worth, lawsuit threats, the value of the Trump brand, Trump Vodka, Trump Shuttle, Trump Steaks, Trump University, Trump's buildings, fireproof feet, David Duke, the KKK, ISIS, war crimes, Mexico and much more.

Oliver used the final moments of the episode to try and disassociate the 'Trump' name from succes, power, money etc. by launching the hashtag #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain because Trump's ancestors were named Drumpf before they changed it. The hashtag went viral almost immediately:

He also announced that he had trademarked the 'Drumpf' name and launched the website donaldjdrumpf.com along with a Chrome browser extension to automatically replace all mentions of 'Trump' with 'Drumpf', plus a line of 'Make Donald Drumpf Again' hats to parody Trump's iconic 'Make America Great Again' headwear.

The video racked up an impressive seven million views on YouTube within 24 hours and according to Lead Stories' Trendolizer it was the most shared thing on the web for several hours, getting over 20,000 likes/shares per hour at peak times.

On the eve of Super Tuesday the video sucked attention away from all the other candidates in the Republican race according to Lead Stories' Live Social Media Attention Tracker:



Will this video help or hurt Trump? One thing is for certain, with Trump you never know...

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk