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Jimmy Fallon Is Fine, Despite What Twitter's #RIPJimmyFallon Hashtag Claims

Elon Musk's Twitter has killed Jimmy Fallon. Kind of.

We can confirm that Fallon is, in fact, not dead after the hashtag #RIPJimmyFallon began trending yesterday (per the Hollywood Reporter). Fallon himself tweeted, "@ElonMusk, can you fix this? #RIPJImmyFallon," to which Musk responded, "Fix what?"

The Twitter CEO certainly doesn't bare direct responsibility for the Fallon hoax — Twitter's trending tab has been vulnerable for years, with the BBC reporting that users could actually buy their way to a trending hashtag. But one could argue that his relaxed and reactive approach to content moderation, verification, and fact-checking may have created an environment for such an erroneous tag to trend without context.

Musk has previously helped high-profile tweeters with problems caused by his management of the platform. When Doja Cat found that she could no longer change her name from "christmas" due to her verified status, Musk came to her aid — only for the singer to change her name permanently to "fart."

Charitably, Musk's response to Fallon could reflect a hesitation to tamper with the trending tab, which he may view as a reflection of the platform's collective free speech. It's hard to get too invested in the Fallon-death-saga, however, as it's just another in a long string of problems for the social media platform.

Twitter has come under fire since Musk took charge

After the self-described free speech absolutist officially took control of Twitter, racial slurs saw a 500% percent rise in use on the platform, according to Business Insider. Shortly after that, Musk introduced his first major change to the site: subscription-based verification. Selling it as a mode of equalizing the platform at the low cost of eight bucks a month, it was also seemingly a quick way for Musk to ease Twitter's financial burdens (per Forbes).

The immediate aftermath was at once hilarious and terrifying. On the one hand, anyone and everyone began impersonating Musk to humorous results; on the other hand, a "verified" account for an insulin company announced its highly expensive life-saving product would now be provided for free — this was, of course, a lie, and one with tangible consequences (via Forbes). Musk has since declared that accounts impersonating others that are not clearly marked as parodies would be suspended (via The Verge). 

The Washington Post showed the world how troublingly easy it was to impersonate political figures after it set up a fake account for Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). When the real Senator Markey asked Musk to explain himself, the CEO dismissed him with a joke. Markey's response, however, was chilling — "Fix your companies. Or Congress will," (via Axios). It's hard to say how long Musk's seemingly chaotic business strategy will carry him, but it's hard to imagine Twitter can operate under these circumstances indefinitely.