The definition of trolling.
Merriam-Webster made a snide jab at Elon Musk’s Twitter Blue on Tuesday by announcing the launch of a mock subscription-only service labeled “Merriam-Webster Red.”
“People who subscribe to Merriam-Webster Red™ will get exclusive access to the real definitions,” the online dictionary mocked in the joke tweet.
The dictionary alluded to Musk’s controversial subscription service, which provides patrons the coveted “verified” blue check mark for a fee.
The sarcastic Twitter missive has been viewed over 3.6 million times as of Wednesday.
In a follow-up tweet about two hours later, Merriam-Webster continued the gag by claiming that the phony subscription service had been shuttered.
“It has been brought to our attention that we’ve been giving everyone the real definitions since 1828,” Merriam-Webster noted, stating the obvious.
“Merriam-Webster Red™ has been discontinued.”
Musk’s Twitter Blue, which came out in November, allows users to pay $8 monthly or $84 annually for certain perks. Subscribers to the service get the highly sought-after blue checkmark badge, half the number of advertisements and have priority in search, according to Musk.
The billionaire has faced an onslaught of criticism ever since purchasing the social media giant for $44 billion in October.
About 75 percent of the company’s workforce were either laid off or quit in rage due to Musk’s mercurial management style.
Merriam-Webster’s critical tweet comes after it was revealed that only paying subscribers of Twitter Blue will soon be able to vote in polls or appear on Twitter’s “For You” recommendations tab.
Musk announced on Monday that high-profile Twitter users who have had a blue checkmark next to their name as a status symbol will be forced to pay up to $11 a month to keep it.
“It will be glorious,” he tweeted Monday, responding to a Twitter user who noted that Saturday, the deadline that Musk set for verified users to either pay or lose their legacy status, is also April Fools’ Day.
The plan has received pushback from many, including prominent personalities like Monica Lewinsky, who says Musk’s new system enables pranksters to pay for a blue check mark to impersonate her.
She asked, “what universe is this fair to people who can suffer consequences for being impersonated? a lie travels half way around the world before truth even gets out the door.”
Musk has said that requiring everyone to pay for their blue check marks — including celebrities — was “more about treating everyone equally.”
Merriam-Webster has long teased prominent figures on social media, including former President Trump, who once mistakenly wrote “smocking” instead of “smoking” in a 2018 tweet.
“Today in Spellcheck Can’t Save You: ‘Smocking’ is a type of embroidery made of many small folds sewn into place,” Merriam-Webster tweeted in response, linking to the entry for the word in the dictionary.