It's safe to say that Margaret Thatcher and Cher were never confused for each other before, but it happened on Monday after a hashtag referencing the late British prime minister started trending on Twitter.
Almost immediately after news broke that Margaret Thatcher had died of a stroke at the age of 87, the hashtag #nowthatchersdead appeared on Twitter, mostly in tweets by opponents who appeared to be celebrating the controversial leader's death.
“Overwhelmed by the fact that Thatcher is ACTUALLY dead...Go drink some milk freely kids! #nowthatchersdead” @OMChenryy wrote, referring to her termination of a program that provided free milk to school-age children.
But as the hashtag continued to catch on, it prompted confusion among some Cher fans, who misread the tag as “Now That Cher’s Dead.” “Seen a #nowthatchersdead tweet. Is Cher dead?!?!?!!!” @GabrielHimme wrote. “Going on a self-imposed social media ban out of respect for #cher” @Fee_King wrote.
The death of the former prime minister, who was portrayed by Meryl Streep in the Oscar-winning 2011 film “The Iron Lady,” led to other celebratory cries around the Internet. The U.K.-hosted website “Is Thatcher Dead Yet?” changed its welcome message to “YES,” adding, “Margaret Thatcher is dead. This lady’s not returning.” As of Monday afternoon, the page had already amassed more than 205,000 likes on Facebook. Thatcher’s death also inspired another Twitter hashtag, #DingDongTheWitchIsDead.
Cher is just the latest celebrity to be mistaken for dead. Early in 2013 Rush Limbaugh, Taylor Swift, Zayn Malik of One Direction, and actor Corbin Bleu were all rumored to be dead, although in most of those cases the false rumors were spread intentionally.