Fact Check: President Trump Did NOT Tweet 'Oldies Will Have To Die'

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: President Trump Did NOT Tweet 'Oldies Will Have To Die' Satire

Did President Trump send out a tweet that included the phrase "Oldies will have to die" in connection with lifting coronavirus restrictions? No, that's not true: the claim originated on a satire website but was widely picked up on Twitter and presented as real by several people. A search of Trump's recent tweets did not show any that contained the phrase.

The fake tweet originated from an article published in the satire section "Laughing in Disbelief" of Patheos.com on May 8, 2020 titled "'Oldies Will Have To Die' Tweets Trump" (archived here) which contained a fake tweet that read:

American shops want to open! Hair needs cutting, Demohaps don't want to bite the bullet but that's the price we have to pay, Some oldies will have to die, We're in God's hands folks! L'berate America!

The fake tweet was supposedly sent on May 8, 2020:

faketweet.jpg

However a search for the phrase "oldies will have to die" on the Trump Twitter archive yielded no results, nor did a search of his account via Twitter's own search page and the tweet was also not visible in the Internet Archive when a snapshot was taken of Trump's account on May 9, 2020 shortly after midnight.

The link to the supposed tweet in the Patheos article actually went to a page that explained it was all satire:

Is This Satire?

Hello, my name is Andrew Hall and I'm the author of Laughing in Disbelief. Before getting to business I just want to thank you for taking some time and reading one of my posts. I appreciate it!

You probably clicked a link to a story and you're here.

The story you were reading is satirical.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes patheos.com as:

A website that publishes hundreds of blogs on religion, politics, and health, including unlabeled satirical articles and blogs that misstate facts to advance the author's views.

According to NewsGuard the site can generally be trusted to maintain journalistic standards. Read their full assessment here.

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder 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

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