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Confusing Twitter hashtag leaves Cher fans in mourning

The hashtag #nowthatchersdead creates tears and wailing for the wrong female icon. It is former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who has passed.

Immortal. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Do you believe in life after death?

I believe that several fans of singing icon Cher have had such beliefs bolstered by events that occurred today on Twitter.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher passed away today.

She was admired and derided in almost equal measure. Some adored how she assaulted entrenched British institutions with her handbag. Others thought she was a petty and divisive shopkeeper's daughter.

One Web site that espoused the latter view is called Is Thatcher Dead Yet? It rather looked forward to her passing to the Safeway in the sky.

So when her death was announced, it immediately created the hashtag #nowthatchersdead.

This gained some traction in Twitterworld. Sadly, though, some fans of the underrated actress and all-around shiny being read the hashtag a little too quickly.

Yes, they believed that Cher was dead.

Grief glittered the Twitterscape.

"RIP Cher, you were an amazing singer. Do you believe in life after love was one of the all time greats. #nowthatchersdead," tweeped Ryan Coburn.

Someone with the apposite handle @sexyghosts offered: "RIP CHER. Just saw the hashtag. Never was a fan myself but you've gotta respect her influence."

There is, though, no limit to human imagination. For no sooner had people breathed a disco ball-sized sigh of relief that, as The Independent reports, some people thought perhaps Teri Hatcher was a "deadsperate" housewife.

Exalted minds also have taken to Twitter to express their fears for, well, civilization.

Michael Kirkeby, for example, mused: "Some people on Twitter think Cher's dead because of #nowthatchersdead hashtag. We give up on humanity. @wonderlandmag."

I refuse to be so downhearted. Indeed, I have just moseyed to Twitter and created the hashtag #nowthatchersalive.

I look forward to seeing what humanity makes of that and whether Cher will choose my new moniker as the name of her new worldwide tour.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET