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'Goblin mode': How the fake news spread amid Julia Fox, Kanye break-up

Yasmine Leung February 24, 2022
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A recent headline about Julia Fox and Kanye West’s relationship that included the term ‘goblin mode’ has left readers puzzled over its meaning and true provenance. As it turns out, this particular rabbit hole goes deep.

Kanye West and Julia Fox’s high-profile relationship has been making headlines ever since the actress admitted to their entanglement in an Interview Magazine article from January 2022. That’s now considered ancient history in the world of celebrity relationships.

Then, during Valentine’s Day weekend, Kanye made a series of now-deleted Instagram posts directed at his ex-wife Kim’s new beau, Pete Davidson, which sprouted endless memes and even a new nickname for the comedian: Skete.

Shortly after that all went down, Fox and West had broken up and the media was awash with headlines (fake and otherwise) covering the split. And this is where ‘goblin mode’ comes in. What does it mean, you ask? You are in for a ride.

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What’s up with Julia Fox and ‘goblin mode’? The headline that never was

It all started when a doctored screenshot was shared on Twitter, appearing to be from a Pinkvilla article about Fox and West’s relationship. The fake headline quickly spread, mostly because of how baffling it was: “Julia Fox opened up about her ‘difficult’ relationship with Kanye West ‘He didn’t like when I went goblin mode‘” it appeared to read.

With a term like ‘goblin mode’, who could resist? It just had to be real. Right?

After seeing the fake post, internet denizens became swept up in trying to decipher the meaning of the bizarre term. Some were even thinking along the lines of pretending to be a goblin, like this Redditor, or as @MisterJay76 tweeted: “Did she steal his socks and hide under the bed?”

Sadly, it was too good to be true. The screenshot was a fake and such a juicy phrase had never escaped Julia Fox’s lips, as she herself explained in an Instagram story: “Just for the record, I have never used the term ‘goblin mode.'”

But it was too late. The proverbial cat was out of the bag and the media ran with it. Vogue also mentioned the phrase in an article about the break-up.

The Twitter user who first shared the alleged screenshot of the Pinkvilla headline has since admitted to altering the image. Apparently they were trying to prove how easy it is to spread fake news.

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So the saga of the headline that never was comes to an end. Pinkvilla’s title, as it turns out, always read: “Julia Fox opened up about her ‘difficult’ relationship with Kanye West before split announcement.”

The fake quote, however, lives on in memedom.

Fans responded to the initial (doctored) screenshot with a sea of memes, with many featuring the most famous goblin of all: Spider-Man’s arch enemy Green Goblin. Seriously, what else did you expect?

Fox has been the target of backlash for sharing relationship details but the 32-year-old hit back at critics claiming her former beau wanted her to discuss it:

What ‘goblin mode’ means, you insatiable weirdos

Even though Julia Fox never said the phrase “goblin mode”, some of you probably still want to know what it means.

Looking at the bible of internet slang, Urban Dictionary, it defines goblin mode as a “variation of the cowgirl position in which the person on top has their hands and feet planted on the other person. Also often involves grunting and occasionally manic laughing.”

There you have it, the term means a love-making position with goblin flair! It’s apparently a popular trend, so much so one fan joked on Twitter it was “irredeemable” for the rapper to be “anti-goblin mode”.

Another Twitter user joked: “I just can’t support him any more.” Uh oh, looks like Ye may have ‘lost’ a fan.

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.