On the morning of October 1 2020, “Debat” was a Twitter trending topic — largely populated with memes and references to New York City’s former mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Ever on top of internet trends, a social media account for the Webster’s dictionary published a tweet noting that the word “debat” was trending:
📈Trending now for probably the first time in centuries: https://t.co/4FaQAh1AsX
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 1, 2020
A linked definition for “debat” read:
1: a type of literary composition popular especially in medieval times in which two or more usually allegorical characters discuss or debate some subject
— compare TENSON
2: an extended discussion, debate, or philosophical argument between two characters in a work of literature
Another popular tweet involved a “Ghouliani” meme:
— Mike Colodney (@MikeColodney) October 1, 2020
Others didn’t reference Giuliani specifically:
Lincoln-Douglas Debat: pic.twitter.com/sv6ZmBT6mL
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) October 1, 2020
Sure, pal, the debat. Now let’s get you back into bed. pic.twitter.com/AaZ9QHUifk
— Damien Owens (@OwensDamien) October 1, 2020
Says the guy who’s been accusing Joe Biden of having dementia.
Please empty your Depends®️, squirt some Polygrip®️ on those horrific chompers of yours, turn up your hearing aid, and GTFOOH you filthy maniacal deteriorating incestuous traitorous old coot. pic.twitter.com/B9LBWjsVZH
— The USA Singers (@TheUSASingers) October 1, 2020
No such tweet appeared on Giuliani’s timeline later on October 1 2020, but a Google cache (archived) returned a non-working link: https://twitter.com/rudygiuliani/status/1311656157359026179. Giuliani’s timeline did feature a live, different tweet littered with typographical errors:
In that tweet, Giuliani wrote:
The candidate campaign saying maybe no more, or only one more debate, lost to Chris Wallace in the first debate. He finished well below the PRESIDENT.
He jot trapped by @realDonaldTrump into flip flopping on positions promised to Bernie Sanders and already on his website.
Although occasionally screenshots of fabricated tweets from various political figures entered circulation as a “deleted tweet,” readers attempted to archive Giuliani’s tweet at least eight times on the Wayback Machine. At least one of the archived versions led to a saved copy of the tweet.
In Google’s cache, a timestamp of 6:16 AM appeared, likely PST:
The word “debat” hit Twitter’s trending topics as one of a few error-laden tweets sent by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on October 1 2020. Giuliani tweeted and deleted the comment — which read only, “The debat” — on that morning.