Joyce Carol Oates had no idea her tweet shaming a popular meme for what it seemed to be would attract so much attention, but the Internet lets nothing go. The award-winning author has finally confirmed her controversial dinosaur tweet to be obviously, a joke.
It all started when Oates, considered one the country's most successful living authors, retweeted IGN's Chris Tilly's sardonic caption to photo of a younger Steven Spielberg, who was sitting proudly in front of one of his "dead" triceratopses from an earlier Jurassic Park film. Tilly's caption read: "This guy thinks it's cool to kill defenceless animals then take a selfie. Jerk." Being a movie editor, and that photo being obvious, Tilly's tweet was taken lightly.
But the poor, defenseless, fake animal couldn't be helped, so Oates, 77, added her own tid-bit of commentary to the shot. "So barbaric that this should still be allowed... No conservation laws in effect wherever this is?" she wrote.
Many of her 123,000 followers were clearly confused by the National Book Award winner's seemingly oversensitive reaction to the photo. Had she opened the photo at all? Had she ever seen Jurassic Park? Did she know dinosaurs were extinct?
But much of the Internet almost instantly made jokes of Oates' tweet, which she told Newsweek afterward was indeed a joke itself. Netizens couldn't help but reply to the initial post with snark comments sarcastically "playing along" with Oates apparent delusion.
Meanwhile, others became worried that Oates might have actually been serious. Swarms of Twitter users began stating the obvious for Oates, just in case she hadn't realized the quip she herself had made.
"Just have no idea about this," Oates initially told Newsweek, confused by and unaware of how successful her trolling was. "The Internet & Twitter are filled with jokes. Why is this so unusual?"
After the magazine informed the Beasts author of the ruckus she made online, Oates replied with a message of surprise: