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Jordan Peterson response to Elmo's Ramadan greeting is satire

Social media users have shared what appears to be a screenshot of Jordan Peterson responding negatively to Elmo's well-wishes for Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month. This is misleading; while the psychologist and author has previously vocalized his dislike for the Sesame Street character, the post is not on his profile -- it comes from a self-described meme account.

"Pro-Israel social media influencer Jordan Peterson launches an Islamophobic tirade in response to an Elmo account marking Ramadan," says MintPress News, an American far-left website, in a March 13, 2024 Facebook post.

The post includes what appears to be a screenshot of Peterson replying to a post from Elmo's X account that says: "Ramadan Mubarak, everybody!"

The supposed response from Peterson says: "Hamas will never win over the righteous keepers of the West."

Similar posts have spread across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and X.

<span>Screenshot of a Facebook post taken March 15, 2024</span>
Screenshot of a Facebook post taken March 15, 2024
<span>Screenshot of a Facebook post taken March 15, 2024</span>
Screenshot of a Facebook post taken March 15, 2024

Elmo did post the Ramadan greeting March 10 (archived here) -- but Peterson did not reply to it, according to live and archived versions of his X account.

AFP did not find any posts from other accounts with the alleged Ramadan response, either. Every supposed screenshot shows the same number of likes, reposts, quotes and bookmarks, further suggesting the post is not authentic.

The earliest version of the image AFP could find was published four hours after the original Elmo post by the account Trap Queen Enthusiast, which says it makes and posts "memes and other silly tweets" (archived here).

<span>Screenshot of an X post taken March 13, 2024</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken March 13, 2024
<span>Screenshot of X account description taken March 15, 2024</span>
Screenshot of X account description taken March 15, 2024

AFP contacted Trap Queen Enthusiast and Peterson for comment, but responses were not forthcoming.

However, most of Trap Queen Enthusiast's posts appear to be satirical manipulations. The account owner previously confirmed a photo they shared of a supposed interaction between Elon Musk and former partner Grimes had been edited.

<span>Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024
<span>Screenshot of an X interaction taken March 15, 2024</span>
Screenshot of an X interaction taken March 15, 2024

Other manipulated Elmo responses

The supposed Ramadan reaction is not the first time Peterson has been the subject of fake posts about Elmo.

Social media users in late January and early February 2024 shared an image that appeared to show Peterson's vitriolic response to one of the puppet's posts. After the photo trended, the Canadian Press found it had been manipulated -- and that it had been posted by Trap Queen Enthusiast.

The wire service reported the text, which accused the puppet of "wanting to discriminate against white people," was taken from a separate post unrelated to Elmo (archived here).

<span>Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP
<span>Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP

Another image appears to show Peterson reacting to Elmo wishing happy birthday to a fellow character by calling him a "despiser of the peasantry."

But Peterson published that message September 19, 2023 in response to a post from Jagmeet Singh, leader of the Canadian New Democratic Party (archived here and here).

<span>Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP
<span>Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP

On March 11, 2024, Elmo congratulated singer Billie Eilish for winning Best Original Song at the 96th Academy Awards (archived here). Social media users shared another supposed response from Peterson in which he appears to accuse the puppet of being a Hamas supporter.

But this message also appears to be manipulated. It does not appear on live or archived versions of the psychologist's profile, and Elmo's real account does not have the verification badge seen in the image (archived here).

<span>Screenshot of a Facebook post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP</span>
Screenshot of a Facebook post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP
<span>Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024, with elements highlighted by AFP

Peterson's online presence

Some social media users reacting to the satirical Ramadan response claim the post could plausibly be attributed to Peterson because of the writing style. Many of his posts have abrupt line breaks similar to those in some of the responses to Elmo.

Peterson also appears to have previously aired some grievances against the puppet.

In an episode of a podcast with his daughter, he discussed how he disliked Elmo (archived here). He also concluded a January 31, 2024 post critiquing US President Joe Biden by saying the puppet would vote for the Democratic Party (archived here).

In response to a satirical December 2022 post in which the Babylon Bee jokingly said Elmo had died, Peterson responded that he had "always detested that whiny infantilized puppet" (archived here).

<span>Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024
<span>Scresshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024</span>
Scresshot of an X post taken March 15, 2024

Despite the fabricated Peterson messages linking Elmo to Hamas, the former university professor has posted about the militant group in the past.

The College of Psychologists of Ontario has deemed some of Peterson's posts inappropriate and required him to take social media training. He contested the legitimacy of this requirement in court, but a judge ruled against him.

Read more of AFP's reporting on misinformation in Canada here.