The Parody Mussolini Account Trump Retweeted Was One Big Gawker Prank
Earlier this morning, Donald Trump retweeted a parody Benito Mussolini account with the singular purpose of tweeting out the dictator’s quotes and attributing them to Trump. The Donald defended himself on Meet the Press earlier and said he just likes good quotes and it shouldn’t matter who they come from.
As it turns out, this one came from Gawker. Not the quote, the Twitter account.
Gawker editor-in-chief Alex Pareene revealed earlier that this was a huge prank they pulled to see if Trump would be crazy enough to actually RT them:
We came up with the idea for that Mussolini bot under the assumption that Trump would retweet just about anything, no matter how dubious or vile the source, as long as it sounded like praise for himself.
This apparently started in late November and has done nothing but tweet Mussolini quotes at Trump since then.
Pareene makes it clear that this was as un-subtle as humanly possible (the profile pic was Mussolini with Trump’s hair and the Twitter account was literally @ilduce2016), and The Donald amazingly fell for it:
At the time of the account’s creation, Gawker Media Executive Editor John Cook expressed some concern that the joke behind the account was far too obvious, and wouldn’t trick anyone but a complete idiot.
Today, Donald Trump proved him—and all of us—right.
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.