Twitter confusion over Margaret Thatcher’s death led users to believe Cher had died

Joseph McCormick April 9, 2013
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Confusion broke out over Twitter as the hashtag used to spread the news of Margaret Thatcher’s death led some users to believe that the singer Cher, had died.

The Conservative former prime minister died on Monday, aged 87 from a stroke. Her politics on gay issues proved to be divisive for the LGBT community. She voted for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967; however, her government  in 1987 introduced the highly controversial Section 28, which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools.

The hashtag #nowthatcherisdead was started on Twitter yesterday amidst messages around her death, some celebratory and some paying tribute.

Some mis-read the hashtag as “now that Cher is dead”, and began paying tribute to the 66-year-old singer, who is still alive reports the Evening Standard.

Comedian Ricky Gervais, took to Twitter in an attempt to put an end to the confusion, and said: “Some people are in a frenzy over the hashtag #nowthatchersdead. It’s “Now Thatcher’s dead”. Not, “Now that Cher’s dead”. JustSayin’”

The message from Gervais was retweeted by users over 6,000 times.

Some users were still thrown by the wording, and one tweeted: “I can’t believe that Cher is dead. Do you believe in life after love?”

Another wrote: “#nowthatchersdead rip Cher you were loved for your titanic song”

Some even went on to believe that X-Factor runner up Cher Lloyd was the one who had died.

One user of the microblogging site said: “As it seems to be pretty controversial on twitter, this will be my only tweet on Cher Lloyd’s death. RIP you pink haired princess.”

A Facebook campaign to get a song by gay icon Judy Garland into the Official UK Top 40 Chart this week, as a response to Margaret Thatcher’s death, looked today as though it could be successful in placing the song in the charts.

Social media websites exploded yesterday with people’s reactions to Thatcher’s death, many celebrating, and others paying tribute. Street parties took place in London, Bristol and Glasgow last night, in celebration.

Earlier today, X Factor singer Rylan Clark deleted a tweet in tribute to Thatcher, after being reminded of her role in introducing Section 28 and her general disdain for gay rights. Clark tweeted: “Getting a bit of backlash about thatcher, maybe I’m not up on history???

More: Cher, Confusion, Conservative, dead, death, hashtag, Margaret Thatcher, obituary, party, Tory, Twitter

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