An artist’s satirical post about the First Lady circulated online, eventually spreading without his name attached to the joke.
In late May 2018, a Brazilian artist poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump found got a surprise when he discovered that a joke he had written had mutated as it circulated online beyond his control — and in some cases, it was treated as a legitimate sign of distress on her part.
On 31 May 2018, Felipe Sobreiro posted:
Sobreiro posted the four-line tweet — arranged so that the first letter on each line spelled out the word “HELP” in capital letters — a day after Trump responded to speculation regarding her whereabouts with a brief statement online:
Sobreiro’s joke was subsequently retweeted and highlighted hundreds of thousands of times. It was then disseminated without his name attached to it, further suggesting that it had legitimately been posted by the First Lady as an actual cry for help: