WTF Report: “Satire or not?”

Remember that time you’ve read about Sarah Palin calling for a military invasion of the Czech Republic? Remember the outrage you’ve reveled in, furiously bashing that “Share” button so that your Facebook friends could partake in ridiculing Sarah Palin’s idiotic remarks? Seriously, doesn’t she know anything about geography? But then one of your smartass friends pointed out that The Daily Currant, which ran the story, was a satirical website, meaning the whole thing was made up. Didn’t that make your outrage seem hilarious and embarrassing in retrospect?

Well, rejoice, ye Facebookers. Your days of cluelessness are over! Facebook is rolling out the ultimate weapon against accidental misunderstanding of humor. It’s called “literally spelling the joke out for people.” Satirical posts should soon be getting a special tag on Facebook. That tag? “Satire,” duh! No longer shall we be fooled by tales of Kim Jong-Un getting the “sexiest man alive” title. From now on, we’ll know satire when we see it. (Because it will be waving a huge neon flag with “SATIRE” written on it.)

Look, I understand it’s frustrating to watch your friends fall for the stupidest “news” on social media. But doesn’t the “satire” tag sort of take the, you know, satire out of satire? Isn’t the whole point of satirical news to train people’s critical thinking while drawing attention to important issues in a humorous way?

I don’t know about you, but I personally enjoy seeing an article that seems somehow off, and then getting the feeling of smug satisfaction as it dawns on me that I’m reading a satirical piece. (And then going on Facebook to mock those who didn’t catch on. Yeah, I’m an asshole.) Why do you want to ruin that for me, Facebook?! Why are you adding the equivalent of a sitcom laugh track that tells everyone how to react to humor?

Unless…

Unless the news about Facebook adding the “satire” tag is satire in itself and Facebook was just doing it to see whether I’m as insightful as I really claim to be, making me fall for the very same thing I make fun of others for?! Holy shit! In that case, you have officially inceptioned me, Facebook. Well played, you brilliant maniac!

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28 thoughts on “WTF Report: “Satire or not?”

  1. After reading this I had to check it wasn’t April 1st and you weren’t winding us up – come to think of it, you’re not, are you? You see I’m ridiculously gullible and can so easily be taken for a ride. In fact, as I consider it further I think it will be really helpful for Facebook to highlight satire – after saying that, satire is a complex word that people like me (dumb asses) can’t understand so perhaps they should be labelled something like, “this article is not true; it is either grossly exaggerated or simply made up as a way of taking the piss”. Yes, that should do it!

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    • I’ll get Facebook’s “Duh” department on it, ASAP!

      At this point I’m not entirely sure if this is some brilliant ploy by a pranker of sorts. Who knows these days. The story should’ve had [prank] next to it.

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  2. Interesting post, and I loved your twist at the ending. I have a friend who regularly forwards me incorrect “news” in emails. I email back the Snopes reports about how these various conspiracies were disproved years ago, but she doesn’t care and thinks they’re funny. She keeps spreading misinformation to everyone she knows. (Ugh.)

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  3. Wanna hear a funny anecdote about stupid politicians and satirical news? Because imma post it on your comment section!
    Here in France, we have a very famous satirical news called the Gorafi (the name itself is a parody of the Figaro, another French newspaper). A while back, one of our opposition party leaders, in this case Mrs Christine Boutin of the Christian Democratic party, quoted the gorafi on live television during an interview. Twas quite funny. ^_~
    Great piece.

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      • Weirdest part is that nobody on set called her out. It was at the end of her reply, and the reporter immediately moved on to the next speaker. The social media (fitting, right?) reactions straight after the show were highly entertaining though!

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  4. This is a true tragedy. I didn’t realise how precious the smug satisfaction of critical thinking on Facebook was and now I may never feel it again! How am I going to feel good about myself if I can’t mock the idiocy of people who post before they think? My only hope is that Facebook is indeed the brilliant maniac you suggest…

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    • How dare Facebook take away the one thing that gives us pleasure—feeling undeservedly superior to others for simply understanding satire. Mark Zuckerberg, what have you done?!

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  5. I stopped reading to check the link. I saw the article about the tag was from Forbes, but I was still suspicious. Also, there’s your history of making up really funny stuff.
    I don’t know what to believe. I’m so confused. I should stop using Facebook.

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  6. Natalie DeYoung says:

    Sigh, people. That they’d even NEED a satire button, and aren’t schooled in the ways of the Internet and its “Check everything first before you believe it” nature.

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  7. Why stop at satire? They could use all sorts of identifying tags for posts. Consider: humor, annoying, obnoxious, this-one’s-from-a-loser, tear-jerker, revolting. The list is endless, really. FB users could pick and choose the posts they read based on their identifying tag. Kind of like a smorgasbord of social media…

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      • Yes–what is up with that? A few weeks ago a friend posted (yes, on FB) a video of some comedy show without the laugh tracks. Might’ve been the Big Bang Theory. Not even remotely funny. I get laughter is contagious, which is great, but… dunno, there’s a line somewhere that’s being crossed.

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