No, Donald Trump Jr is not the new Twitter CEO

Posts sharing satire as authentic news leads to confusion

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Claim: A social media post claim that Elon Musk will appoint Donald Trump Jr as Twitter’s new CEO.

Fact: The claim is not true. Blogger Jeff Charles posted a satire piece that people mistook as authentic news.

On 20 December 2022, Facebook user DG Jenkins claimed in a post that “Elon Musk to Appoint Donald Trump Jr. as New Twitter CEO After Stepping Down.” The archived version of the full post can be seen here.

The post further reads, “Twitter CEO Elon Musk has announced his successor as the head of the social media company after a poll revealed that more users would like him to step down from managing the day-to-day operations of the company. After cautioning users to “be careful what you wish for,” Musk has decided to hand the reins to Donald Trump Jr. after he vacates his position.” 

Fact or Fiction?

The claim started circulating on social media after blogger Jeff Charles published a story on his website, ‘The Smattering’ on 19 December.

The headline reads, “BREAKING: Elon Musk to Appoint Donald Trump Jr. as New Twitter CEO After Stepping Down.” 

According to The Smatterings, “Twitter has not yet set a date for Trump’s takeover, but the son of former President Donald Trump seems ready and willing to run the company. “Oh, it’s gonna be LIT.” 

The website is a satire site created by Charles as a disclaimer on the blog read, “The hottest news that ain’t true, but totally could be.” Charle’s own Twitter bio also mentions the website as satire.

Even though the report was satire, a number of users continued to believe it to be true and shared it on Facebook.

Later, Donald Trump Jr clarified that the news is fake on his official verified Instagram account. The Instagram post caption reads, ”Unfortunately this is fake news, but would be lit. Everyone keeps sending this to me so I figured I’d let you know.”

Soch Fact Check previously debunked claims about Elon Musk and Twitter here, and here.

Virality

An organic search on Facebook with relevant keywords showed posts shared as true and believable news by different users between 19 – 25 December 2022. They can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

On Twitter, users retweeted Jeff Charle’s satire tweet as true. The quote tweets of the users believing it to be true can be seen here, here, here, and here.

The false claim also found its way to YouTube and received 5.9k views in 7 days.

Conclusion: Elon Musk is not appointing Donald Trump Jr as Twitter’s CEO. The original story was published as satire which some people believed to be true.

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