The Covfefe Conspiracy Theory: What the Internet Thinks Trump’s Typo Means
Donald Trump’s tweets are routinely the most heavily discussed topic on the internet, but his latest post to the social network site will likely go down as the POTUS’s most infamous tweet yet.
Trump is notorious for launching into Twitter tirades against the media, and it appears that he was about to embark upon another one of his 140-character spiels in the early hours of Wednesday morning. However, at the tail-end of the tweet the US president apparently hit a stumbling block, with him instead typing: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe“. It wasn’t long before the tweet was widely circulated online, with the typo trending hours after the tweet first went live.
Trump later tasked his followers with figuring out the “true meaning” of covfefe, essentially solidifying the tweet as a meme. Because God knows we haven’t had enough memes in the past few years.
Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
But nonetheless Trump’s tweet has led to multiple questions being asked, such as “what is covfefe?”, “could covfefe really have a secret meaning?” and “why am I wasting my life on the internet?” Let’s take a look at some of the possible explanations the internet has given for the new word:
He was referring to Fefe, the scorpion brother of Pepe the frog
The past two years have been really weird. During the US presidential campaign Pepe the frog, an illustrated amphibian initially dreamed up by artist Matt Furie, was deemed a hate symbol due to its popularity with the alt-right and white supremacists. While Pepe’s use was previously mostly limited to 4chan, its association with the Trump campaign led to it spilling out across social media, with it now being widely used on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and other sites.
But before Pepe experienced its surge in popularity, a 4chan user dreamed up a new character to be used alongside the fictitious frog, the cartoon scorpion known as Fefe. Fefe was first described by an anonymous channer back in April 2015, who wrote: “So, meme starts with m, and has m as its third letter. Pepe starts with p, and has p as its third letter. I propose a new 4chan meme, what do you guys think about Fefe … Fefe could be a scorpion, maybe to contrast with Pepe being a frog (you know, the scorpion and the frog story). What do you guys think?” However, Fefe didn’t take off quite as well as Pepe, with one user replying: “I don’t even know what to say right now. I kinda wish you would die.”
According to Know Your Meme, Fefe’s popularity has been limited to 4chan, Reddit and the humor site FunnyJunk, though Trump’s covfefe tweet has inevitably led 4chan users to declare that the li’l scorpion is about to make a comeback. It remains to be seen whether or not white nationalists appropriate this particular innocuous cartoon creature, but the smart money’s on “yes, they definitely will.”
It was an acronym
Some Redditors began positing that covfefe could be an acronym, and that Trump was trying to subliminally send a message to his supporters. With him running his presidential campaign based on proposed policies that he claimed would put “American first,” along with him currently being embroiled in a dispute with Germany over NATO spending, some suggested that covfefe could in fact mean “Convey Our Values, Fuck Everyone From Europe.”
He meant to type coverage
Well, obviously. You really think the President of the United States was going to tweet about a cartoon scorpion? Yeah, like the leader of the free world would send a message to his followers with a reference to a cartoon–
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015