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Internet posts maker Leon Chang (aka @leyawn) is extremely good at Twitter and at Photoshop, which can occasionally result in humorless people discussing his fake screenshots as if they are authentic. An editor at Mashable recently mistook a Leon joke for a preview of Twitter’s new timeline, and now suckers apparently believe one his photoshops is an authentic image from the National Enquirer‘s Ted Cruz sex scandal story.
Here is Leyawn’s joke, a fake paste-up of an Enquirer page mocking Cruz as a “sapiosexual” who lives to suck women’s toes and fondle their minds.
You could argue that nothing is truly beyond belief in an election where Donald Trump made his own penis a debate subject and Cruz himself just said he had “no desire to copulate” with Trump. But some of the lines in this screenshot are dead giveaways that it’s fake, even if you don’t know who Leyawn is and have no experience with Weird Twitter:
“While in bed he asked me to read the Allegory of the Cave,” and “I want someone I can cuddle —with their mind?” Come on.
Yet some people—including Donald Trump supporters, if you can imagine!—are treating the jokey screenshot seriously. Leyawn has been retweeting the best of them, claiming they knew Cruz was a dirty toe-sucker all along, and even wondering whether the Enquirer plagiarized part of the article.
These are definitely not the kneejerk reactions of people willing to believe actually anything about their political opponents.
Just to recap: The screenshot is fake.
“We see through BS.” I mean, apparently not?
Aw, you guys were this close to getting it. You could tell something was supposed to be funny about this, but you couldn’t quite figure out what.
Maybe next time.
Screengrab via 2016 US Presidential Race/YouTube
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.