A fake tweet attributed to President Donald Trump Monday was shared thousands of times on Twitter.

Following a massive drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell nearly 1600 points in its largest one-day drop ever, one Twitter user created a facetious tweet appearing to originate from Trump in 2015.

“If the Dow Joans ever falls more than 1000 ‘points’ in a Single Day the sitting president should be ‘loaded’ into a very big cannon and Shot into the sun at TREMENDOUS SPEED! No excuses!,” the tweet said.

The fake image immediately went viral, receiving more than 20,000 retweets at the time of publication.

The Twitter user behind the message, Shaun Usher, expressed his astonishment soon after that the tweet had been taken seriously.

“Sweet mother of god,” Usher said. “Not for one second did I think people would believe that to be genuine.”

According to Usher, both The Washington Post and Snopes reached out for comment within several hours.

The image was likely generated with one of several online services allowing anyone to craft fake tweets from the president.

Responding to criticism, Usher argued that deleting the false tweet was perhaps “more dangerous” than allowing it to stay.

“Many people asking why I haven’t taken it down,” Usher said. “Literally within minutes of me posting it, it had legs. It was everywhere within about 10mins. I had lost control of it in an instant. Deleting mine–its place of birth–felt wrong & maybe more dangerous?”

Unsurprisingly, Usher’s announcement that the tweet was fake received vastly less retweets than his original message.


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