Talk of World War III has been all over the internet in the past 24 hours following the assassination of top Iranian battlefield commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in a US drone strike.
The killing is widely expected to result in more hostilities between Tehran and Washington, with the former vowing to retaliate and the latter moving to deploy thousands of additional troops to the Middle East.
Although many analysts have predicted a limited clash (perhaps in the form of more drone and missile strikes) but not a full-on military conflict, WW3 has nevertheless been trending on Twitter since Friday. Some people have tried to laugh it off, but the unease is palpable.
"This is the U.S army. We drafting people for World War 3. Are you American?"— Drebae💎 (@Drebae_) January 3, 2020
Me when I saw Franz Ferdinand trending thinking it was about the band vs realizing it’s about World War 3. pic.twitter.com/l858i8IWrC— groovy (@dannythesalami) January 3, 2020
Me grabbing my stuff to go to Canada before world war 3 starts pic.twitter.com/08aUXqg3ok— jorge ivan 777 (@Iowlifee) January 3, 2020
January 1st 2020: This is gonna be my year! Positive vibes!— Joe (@JoeSaunders) January 3, 2020
January 3rd 2020: ‘World War III’, ‘Russia and China’, ‘US and Iran’ and ‘ISIS’ are all trending on Twitter
Everyone on twitter laughing at the world war 3 memes like pic.twitter.com/h02iSe3ijV— Alfredo (@BrutalXL) January 3, 2020
The website of the US Selective Service System went down after young people flocked there to find out how to avoid military enlistment (the US military is composed solely of volunteers and there has been no announcement that compulsory service would be re-instated).
Me meeting my homies in prison after we all refused the draft for WWIII pic.twitter.com/VmV2gbbgT2— 𝔸𝕕𝕒𝕞‼️ (@PlayoffNugs) January 3, 2020
Everyone with asthma who can’t be drafted for World War III pic.twitter.com/MrKQpTIYEd— joe (@ZovkoJoey) January 3, 2020
so if the LGBTQ isn’t welcomed in the military, we shouldn’t get drafted RIGHT? pic.twitter.com/HZPdBOeu2Z— abel⚡️ (@choloabel) January 3, 2020
Some said they would dress up as a woman to escape the draft.
me when the government comes knocking on my door for the draft pic.twitter.com/gitX4Q1qHi— James Charles (@jamescharles) January 3, 2020
Pledging allegiance to Russia might also turn out to be a wise move.
But it’s important to remember that war is no joke, others said, calling on the jokesters to show some empathy.
i was making ww3 jokes and then realized that while i may not care what happens to me, i do care what happens to the countless Iranian people who would actually be affected by this war so i'm cancelling all world war 3 jokes, effective immediately. not our tragedy to joke about.— clarke 🕊 (@kklarkie) January 3, 2020
I’m typically all for smart comedy but your World War 3 jokes are willfully dumb. They expose a fundamental miseducation about military history OR you simply lack empathy for the potential loss of non-American civilian life. We’re tweeting the worst stereotypes of ourselves, huh.— Eugene Lee Yang (@EugeneLeeYang) January 3, 2020