The death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been met with confusion by some Twitter users, thanks to the trending hashtag #nowthatchersdead.
The problem began when the website Is Thatcher Dead Yet? created the hashtag to help its users organise parties and share Spotify playlists in celebration of the death of the UK’s first female Prime Minister.
But, as is an increasing theme on Twitter, confusion over exactly who had died spread thanks to the fact apostrophes and spaces cannot be used in a hashtag.
Instead of reading as 'Now Thatcher’s Dead', many users misread the trend as 'Now That Cher’s Dead'.
As a result a wave of tributes for the veteran pop star poured in and, as is the way of the internet, these tributes spawned more and more confusion as the original hashtag was dropped by others discussing the ‘death’ of Cher.
Twitter user @itzdavemedia posted “RIP Cher. At least we’ll now find out about life after love #nowthatchersdead”, while @breadquandaaaa simply tweeted: “RIP Cher oh my god”.
Although @LedZeppJack had clearly heard about the death of the former Prime Minister, he still posted “Oh dear. #nowthatchersdead is trending. First Margaret Thatcher and now Cher. It’s been one crazy day.”
Meanwhile @sexyghosts posted the tribute: “RIP CHER. Just saw the hashtag. Never was a fan myself but you’ve gotta respect her influence”.
The response led comedian Ricky Gervais to post a heavily retweeted tweet reading “Some people are in a frenzy over the hashtag #nowthatchersdead. It’s “Now Thatcher's dead”. Not, “Now that Cher's dead” Just Sayin'”
Once the confusion took hold, some mischievous Twitter users tried to escalate it further, spreading rumours that the ‘thatcher’ in the hashtag actually stood for Desperate Housewives and New Adventures of Superman star Terri Hatcher.
Hatcher, like Cher, remains very much alive however, and the #nowthatchersdead hashtag has now settled into a steady stream of people discussing the mix-up rather than falling for it.