Anatomy Of The "McAfee 30-Day Trial" Twitter Joke

McAfee arrested. Trial to last 30 days?

Have you seen this joke? Of course you have.  In the month since police began looking for McAfee in relation to the murder of Gregory Viant Faull, variations of this joke have popped up literally everywhere, especially on Twitter. I’ve seen it so much, I am sick of it.

Proper Respect, Please

Which is why when I saw Information Age staff writer Kane Fulton’s joke tweet (above), I almost lost it. Especially since his version, retweeted more than 240 times now, has become the most popular variation of that joke, according to Topsy.

Fulton thinks it is funny that his tweet is being shared so widely, tweeting “Who said it pays to be original? Now I know how Noel Gallagher feels” in response to his joke’s popularity.  

C'mon, it is so freaking easy to retweet something you like instead of pretending its yours. All you have to do is click a little button, and bam, you're done. But instead of retweeting any of the 659 variations of this joke that exist on Twitter (according to Topsy), Fulton decided to run the joke as if it was his. No quotes, no “via” or “h/t” to anyone else. 

This is bad Twitter etiquette, tweeple.

24 Days Later

The first instance of the joke actually appeared 24 days ago when police first began looking for McAfee. Security expert Jim Geovedi was one of the first, if not THE first, person to tweet the now overplayed joke. Geovedi, who is famous enough to have his own Wikipedia page (and be retweeted with respect), wrote:

“if the police catch John McAfee, the trial will only last 30 days unless they pay 1-year subscription.”

His joke was retweeted only twice. Less than 15 minutes later after Geovedi, David Whittam tweeted his version of the still-original joke (It's unlikely Whittam saw Geovedi's tweet):

“The founder of McAfee is wanted for murder? What a security breach. The trial will probably last 30 days.”

Roughly an hour later, the seemingly “weird Twitter” account Fat Monica tweeted a truncated version of the joke:

“the founder of McAfee is wanted for murder i assume the trial will last 30 days”

Which he or she may have come with on his or her own.  

Less than an hour after Fat Monica, the community manager for @WorldIrish Darragh Doyle asked:

“Who has done the 'The Trial will last 30 days' joke about the John McAfee murder story already?”

At that point, dozens already had.

Twitter's notoriously bad search function still shows hundreds of variations of the joke. Stick a fork in it - it's done.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.