Joyce Carol Oates, one of the nation's most accomplished living authors, just pranked the entire Twitter-verse.
On Tuesday, Oates retweeted an image showing filmmaker Stephen Spielberg posing with a "Jurassic Park" triceratops as if it were a hunting conquest and called it "barbaric."
So barbaric that this should still be allowed... No conservation laws in effect wherever this is? https://t.co/hgavm9IBaM
— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) June 9, 2015
While it seems unlikely that Oates would believe that the triceratops is not only still alive, but being hunted -- and being hunted by Spielberg -- the tweet was shared and mocked extensively. It even made news websites, with many writing under the belief that the 1970 National Book Award winner fell for an obvious hoax.
Of course she was kidding.
"[It] was meant as a joke.... " she wrote to Newsweek. "[M]any of my tweets are meant to be funny; but I guess that is not always a good idea."
Newsweek wrote back to thank her, and said the author replied with "an entirely blank email."
The dino photo went viral last year when posted as a joke on Facebook by Jay Branscomb with the caption: "Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man."
While many thought it funny and reposted it with their own mock outrage, a small number may have shared it under the belief that the image was real.