Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images
Isabella Biedenharn
June 11, 2015 AT 04:30 PM EDT

After one of Joyce Carol Oates’ seemingly aloof tweets went viral, many questioned the author’s intentions.

“So barbaric that this should still be allowed… No conservation laws in effect wherever this is?” she wrote in response to an old photo of Steven Spielberg next to a “dead” Jurassic Park dinosaur. Was she making a joke, or is she so out of touch that she actually thinks Triaceratops still roam the earth?

Well, we have our answer: It was meant “as a joke,” Oates tells Newsweek. “Many of my tweets are meant to be funny; but I guess that is not always a good idea.” Good one.

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