Satire Tag Facebook Green

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 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!

Two Blue Birds

4 worst social media crimes

The thing I love about social media is that it lets people instantly share every little thing about their lives. The thing I hate about social media is that it lets people instantly share every little thing about their lives.

Don’t get me wrong. I care about my friends (except Freddy, because fuck that guy), but there are only so many of their detailed dietary diaries I can read before slowly turning insane. We’re probably all guilty of misusing social media in one way or another. No, not like that, you pervert…but I like the way your mind works.

Here are four of the worst social media crimes:

4. Inane statements

This is one of the most widespread crimes. There’s something about humans that makes us convinced the world can’t exist without finding out what we’ve had for lunch or hearing our opinions on the current weather and our neighbor’s sleeping patterns.

Boring Status

It gets even worse when a whole group of people engages in a conversation that’s essentially about nothing.

Boring Puppy Status

But at least the above examples deal with something people have actually experienced. The worst offenders are those who feel compelled to bombard their social media friends with somebody else’s motivational and/or profound quotes.

Boring Quote Status

Honestly, there are countless websites where all sorts of quotes can be found. I know how Google works. I can find them without your help. Please stop being a random quote generator.

Please stop being a random quote generator“—Daniel Nest, 2014

3. Games and apps

At one point, in a dusty cubicle of Facebook’s “Idea Generation Farm” (or wherever they keep their workers), one ambitious fellow came up with a brilliant idea. “I got it!” he yelled, “People play games. Our users are people. Why don’t we let our users play games with each other? And why don’t we make it so that whenever a user signs up to play a game, all of his friends get bombarded with quadrillion invites to said game until they want to murder his family? Also, don’t you think ‘Murder His Family’ is a good name for a game?”

And then this happened:

Facebook Game Invite

I’ve been using Facebook since before it was cool. It was called MySpace then, and I never actually used it. So yes, I just lied. But I did use Facebook for almost 10 years, and not once have I ever accepted a game invite. Sure, I can block a game from ever sending me invites, but new games pop up faster than I can click that “block” button.

Inviting your friend to a game of Banana Ninja or Candy Slaughter Extreme is how you tell them that your friendship is essentially over and that this virtual imitation of human interaction is all that’s left between you.

All of the above goes for the many quiz apps and the like. I’m not particularly interested in finding out which Friends character I most resemble (it’s Phoebe, by the way). And if I were, I wouldn’t want to install a Facebook app to help me solve that mystery. I’d ask my friends personally. Then I’d go quietly weep at home when they told me it’s Ross. God, Ross is awful.

2. Unverified information

Over the years, social media has become a viable alternative to traditional news sites. That’s hardly surprising: Why would you want to read what some stupid journalist has to say? It’s much easier to just click “share” on that post from your friend Phil. Phil may lack journalistic credentials, but he does one hell of a Robocop impression, so why wouldn’t you trust him?

The problem is that, most of the time, those sensational stories that spread like wildfire on social media are either grossly exaggerated or straight up invented. If you’ve ever shared a wacky story about some hilariously ridiculous thing that happened in [Insert Exotic, Far Off Country Here], there’s a good chance you’re guilty of accidentally spreading bullshit.

Unverified Information Status

To avoid participating in this “Pass The Lie” marathon, try to pause for a second. Ask yourself: Does the story sound too insane to be true? Then it might just be. If the story cites a scientific study or another source—check the source. Does it say what the story claims it says? Does it appear solid?

“That’s stupid, Daniel. What if my story doesn’t reference any sources? What do I check then?”

Here’s a hint: If your story’s only source is “a nameless witness who has been given this information by undisclosed sources close to the President,” then the story is probably something some social media marketing interns have pulled out of their asses that very morning. Don’t encourage them. We live in an age where information is at your fingertips in literal seconds. There’s no excuse for not doing a quick Google search to see if this story checks out.

Sites like exist for a reason—to stop people from spreading the same urban legend that’s already been debunked three decades ago. If you blindly share a story about a silly lady who thought she got pregnant after eating a bowl of cereal while watching an erotic TV show, then you might just be the silly one for spreading it. So spend a moment to verify the facts before clicking that “Retweet,” “Share,” or “Buzzify” button. (“Buzzify” is a thing, right? Social media lingo ain’t easy.)

1. Spoilers

Oh man. I can’t believe I even need to write about this one, but people on social media share movie twists and finales with surprising frequency. This is the worst thing you can do to your friends. If you’ve ever written a status the only message of which was “No way! Dave was the murderer all along?! Unreal!” then you’re a terrible person and your friends hate you. You probably smell of cabbage, too.

You ruin a movie for a whole crowd of people who were hoping to get wowed by the fact that Brad Pitt turns out to have secretly been a cyborg puppy in his latest movie. Now you’ve taken that away from that with your big social media reveal.


Don’t do this.

“Garfield vs. Dexter”? 4 game ideas

Those of you with a Facebook account surely have at least one friend who constantly bombards you with idiotic app and game invitations. Today they give you a gift horse from Farmville, tomorrow they want to add you to their iCannotRememberBirthdays calendar app, next week they’re challenging you to a Pirates vs. Ninjas duel. By now you have probably done one of the following:

  • Removed your friend from your Facebook account (and your life)
  • Blocked every application on Facebook
  • Joined the fun and are currently a level 47 Ninja Assassin
  • Sent a Ninja Assassin to your friend’s house

Ninja Assassin – for all your friendship needs!

But I’m not here to talk about your obnoxious ex-friend. Good riddance! I’m here to talk about the pervasiveness of these “X vs. Y” games on Facebook – Pirates vs. Ninjas, Vampires vs. Werewolves and countless more. I’m not complaining about them. It’s quite natural to have a competitive “face off” game format to keep people interested. However, what surprises me is that despite this sea of “versus” games nobody has taken them to the next level. Why stop at boring old pirates and predictable ninjas? Is “predictable ninja” an oxymoron? But I digress… What we need is the next generation of competitive games. Being the altruist that I am I hereby provide four ideas to get the ball rolling, entirely free of charge. Game makers of the world – take notice!

4. Teletubbies vs. Batman

Sure, at first glance this may look like an extremely easy victory for Batman, but let’s be completely clear – it totally is! This is less a game and more an evolved version of a stress ball. It’s the ultimate anger management tool. The premise is a bit complicated, so bear with me: You are Batman. Your job is to chase down Teletubbies and beat the living crap out of them. The end. You have access to all of Batman’s gadgets and you get extra points for creativity. Punch a Teletubby? 1 point. Hit a Teletubby with a Batarang so that he stumbles backwards, trips over a carefully placed BatBoobyTrap and explodes? 50 points. Tie a Teletubby to the Batclaw, attach it to the Batwing, launch the Teletubby to space and then shoot him with a rocket launcher? Jesus, you’re a fucking maniac! Also, 500 points. The game should have a broad appeal, as it’s geared towards  both people who hate Teletubbies and people who want to be Batman. Each of the groups makes up roughly 100% of the world’s population, according to my latest estimates. This makes the game fun for 200% of people, which, we can all agree, is a decent amount. What?! No! Of course you can’t play as Teletubbies! What the hell is wrong with you?! Attempting to do so automatically deletes your Facebook account and makes your parents disown you.

3. Tetris vs. Charlie Sheen

OK, I’m cheating a bit here. It’s really just Tetris, except you play as Charlie Sheen who, in turn, is playing Tetris. You can pick from a number of Charlie Sheen characters, from Tiger Blood all the way to Bitchin’ Rock Star from Mars. The game provides rich narration of events, including classics like “Winning!” and “These Z-blocks are just droopy-eyed armless children”. The voice-over is done by Charlie Sheen himself, so you know the game will be a huge hit. I’m currently in the middle of negotiating the deal with Charlie Sheen. The first time I contacted him with a proposal he told me he’d squash my head between his thumb and index finger to squeeze the ancient Mayan spirit out of my alien body. Last time he just told me to fuck off, so I think he’s warming up to the idea.

2. Godzilla vs. God

You’re probably thinking I only came up with this entry because “Godzilla” contains the word “God”. Correct! This game can be set up in a classic fighting game format, a la Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter (but not Tekken, because that would be weird). God and Godzilla have different abilities and “special moves”. Godzilla can smash buildings and roar really loudly. God can bring about Armageddon and end all life as we know it. Should be a pretty balanced fight, I’d say. Not only is it a very fun game to play, but it opens up for an intellectual “creationism” versus “evolution” debate. God: “Wait a second, I never created this monstrosity!” Godzilla: “Evolution, bitch!” Would probably have to clean up the dialogue a bit if this game is released for kids.

1. NATO vs. Atomic Bomberman

In 1997 a wonderful game called Atomic Bomberman was released. Up to 10 players were pitted against each other. They ran around a maze placing bombs at strategic spots to blow up the opposition. The world itself was a much simpler place back then. Any country could have as many nuclear bombs as it wanted and used them to blow up other countries in a giant maze. I think. I’m not a history major. All of that has changed now. Nowadays anyone attempting to make themselves a teeny tiny nuclear bomb is suddenly the bad guy. I know, crazy, right?! This game can serve as an insightful commentary on the current social and political climate. You play as either NATO or Atomic Bomberman. The bomberman still runs around placing bombs in mazes, trying to blow things up. NATO, on the other hand, has a wide arsenal of weapons like “sanctions” and “harsh words” to try and stop the bomberman. Multiple bombermen and NATO members can play simultaneously, making this entry the perfect family game! Nothing like a good old fashioned nuclear apocalypse to get that family time going, don’t you think? __________________ Do you have some great ideas for games? Do you play games on Facebook? Are you the annoying Facebook friend? Have you been blocked recently? How does it make you feel?

Mark Zuckerberg is giving me prizes!

Wow! A short while ago I talked about useless spam ending up in my mailbox. Today, I’m happy to say that quite the opposite has happened. Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg contacted me! And guess what? I won an iPad and an iPhone!

I’m feeling pretty lucky right now, because I’d never won anything like that before. Well, I once won a free scratch card by getting three times “Free Scratch Card” in another scratch card. It was a complex scheme, but worked out quite well in the end.

This is pretty exciting, so let me share a bit more about exactly how I found out that I’d won.

So I opened my mailbox to find this letter there:

It’s quite flattering to be called “Dear” by Mark Zuckerberg himself! I felt we were bonding already and I hadn’t even opened the letter yet. He also avoided calling me by my real name, to show that he’s sensitive about privacy. Then I proceeded to open the letter:

You may find it a bit suspicious that Mark Zuckerberg uses Hotmail and also has a cryptic email address that doesn’t have anything to do with his name. But, if you think about it, it all makes perfect sense. Can you imagine how much spam he’d get if his address was something obvious like “”?

Concise and to the point! At first he briefly introduced himself. I, of course, knew who he was, but there are many people out there who’d never even heard his name. Then he went on to describe my prize. Apparently Facebook has a partnership with “Apple company”, which I assume is the same as “Apple”, or at least a branch of it. I was one of the randomly selected people who were fortunate enough to have been randomly selected! It’s a lot to take in at first, but it’s a fantastic feeling!

There was a “CLICK HERE” link in the email. I won’t paste it here, because I don’t want any of you claiming my iPad and iPhone. Sorry, I hope you understand.

When I clicked the link my computer suddenly shut down. I was afraid at first. You hear things about viruses and hackers and such like. However, when the computer started up again I’d discovered that I now had a few really cool screensavers with Pokemon characters. Also, my browser had three new toolbars, which displayed all sorts of free offers and discounts.

How cool is that? Mark Zuckerberg is not only going to send me an iPhone and an iPad, but he also installed some uber cool software on my computer. Best thing of all is: I didn’t pay a single cent for any of it!

OK, gotta go, my computer wants to restart again for some strange reason…

Circular Logic, Take Two

You may recall how I’ve made fun of Facebook , because their logic algorithm is less of a “relevant recommendations” tool and more of a “stating the obvious” joke.

Well, I’m happy to announce that my blog post was brought to the attention of Mark Zuckerberg himself and he’s introduced some much needed changes. Which is to say, not a damn thing has changed.

Or, in fact, the syndrome has now spread to the fancy “news ticker” feature of the new Facebook Timeline. There I was, a few days ago, minding my own business by stalking people I knew on Facebook. Suddenly, the following important event was brought to my attention by the news ticker:

Amazing discovery!

Thanks, Facebook, for telling me that my friends aren’t schizophrenics who hate the very things they like. Makes me feel better about myself, those I hang out with, and humanity as a whole!

Hurrah to circular logic

Amazon have this uncanny ability to bombard you with offers that you actually find relevant. That’s because they track your purchase history, monitor what pages you view and have an undercover agent following you 24/7. Their recommendations are almost always spot on, which is why people buy so much shit from their site. Statistics even show that excessive Amazon purchases are the primary reason people go bankrupt (source needed).

It is no wonder, then, that at some stage Facebook looked at Amazon‘s customized recommendations and figured: “we can do that!”. Unfortunately, it appears that the Facebook algorithm hasn’t quite been perfected yet, because this is what it showed me the other day:

Also, he’s very well liked by John Mayer fans

Thank you Facebook for making me aware of how logic works in the real world. I think I’ll go use this newly discovered “stating the obvious” power to fight evil. Or annoy my friends. Whichever is easier.

Movember Me

In a distant past (like one year ago) I started hearing hushed rumours about something called Movember. Then I noticed a few of my friends on Facebook posting Movember-related status updates and pictures of their moustaches. I figured they were in some sort of secret upper-lip-hair-fetishist cult. I also figured they kinda sucked at the whole “secret” thing, what with Facebook posts and all. That was the end of it. Until yesterday.

Yesterday the talk of Movember started yet again, this time at work. A colleague of mine is apparently well-versed in all things Movember and will be joining the Movember movement this year. By the way, the name “Movember” is an incredibly clever portmanteau of “November” and “Moustache” (it’s mind-boggling, really).

So, what is this mysterious yet so-very-catchy-sounding happening all about? Well, in short, it’s this: men around the globe shave their faces right before November 1st and then let their moustaches grow up until November 30th. They do so for a number of reasons:

All the cool guys do it!

  • Growing a moustache is universally considered manly, sexy and irresistible. This applies if you’re living in the 1970s and/or are a member of the aforementioned and non-existent (I pray) upper-lip-hair-fetishist cult.
  • It gives men ample opportunity to compete for the title of “The Best Tom Selleck Clone”.
  • Movember helps raise awareness of and encourage donations for fighting men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer.

As you may have guessed, only one of the above reasons is actually true and it’s pretty easy to discern which one it is (hint: Tom Selleck). You can read more about the cause on the official website or (you knew this was coming) on Wikipedia. Just one day ago I knew almost nothing about Movember and had absolutely no intention of participating. However, after some pressure from the colleague I’ve done a bit of research and put some thought into the matter. Here are the “for” and “against” points I could think of on such short notice.


  • Noble cause. Prostate cancer is no joke (seriously, try it at a party). If a small area of my face can serve as a temporary banner for a good cause, why shouldn’t I try it? Although I do draw a line where some people don’t.
  • Curiosity. I’ve never had a moustache before. Some part of me really wants to find out how it would look like. The same part also thinks that a Zombie apocalypse could be freaking cool.
  • Narcissism. It’s bound to be a conversation topic when people see me with a different look. Why not enjoy the extra attention? This is my chance to finally stand out from the rest of the male crowd! Hmmm…the very same crowd that is quite likely to also be supporting Movember…doh!
  • It’s a freaking moustache! No matter how hard I try I just can’t imagine myself with a moustache. Sure, many others can pull it off quite well, but me? This is how my very awesome facial hair is arranged today:

I know, it’s awesome!

If I go by Movember rules I’ll have to lose the goatee and to let the uber-well-trimmed upper-lip part grow into a bushy mess. Who knows what the end result will be? Do you? If you do, please contact me immediately to spare us all the gruesome aftermath!

  • No facial hair to begin with. I haven’t had a clean-shaven face for almost ten years. The Movember rules dictate that you start on November 1st with no facial hair at all, to even out the playing field for all participants. So this means I’ll have to finally get a clean shave and discover what’s lurking beneath all of that hair. Who knows what that may be? Do you? If you do, please contact me immediately to spare us all the gruesome discovery!
  • Subject of ridicule. Nothing encourages snide remarks and “friendly jabs” like a sudden change to one’s look. In my case the remarks are likely to begin with variations of “what’s with the baby face” (November 1st) and end with something like “nice moustache, Borat” (November 30th).

Just as I was weighing the pros and cons of this decision I got involved in a Facebook conversation with two colleagues, who were now working in unison to convince me to join. About twenty seconds of this peer pressure did what hours of contemplation couldn’t. Peer pressure has powers, man!

And thus, after an unreasonably short period of consideration, as is the case with all of my worst life decision, I am joining the Movember cause. I now have a profile, or a so-called “Mospace” (as we’ve already learned the Movember crowd are masters of puns), and it can be found here: If you feel like spreading the word or even supporting the cause financially (you big spender!), I’ll be most grateful (but prostate cancer won’t be).

Keep your eyes open for more Movember-related posts and updates during the month of…*sigh*…Movember. Until then there’s nothing “mo” to say (looks like this corny word play stuff is contagious).

My cartoon stalker

So a few months ago I started to notice an odd occurrence while browsing online. A certain banner ad was popping up on many websites I visited. It didn’t seem to have any relevance to the search terms I used. It didn’t depend on which website I visited in any obvious way, be it Facebook, Yahoo!, or MyLittleUnicornPet. It just happened to show up more frequently than most other banner ads. Here’s the banner I’m talking about:

Still have some dignity left? Cartoonify Yourself to solve the problem!

At first this wasn’t more than just a curious observation. However, this persisted for weeks and weeks and the banner started to appear more and more frequently. I’d never before seen a banner exist for this long on the Internet and pop up this many times on a daily basis. After some thinking I’d come up with the the only two possible answers to why this was happening to me:

  1. Google had somehow discovered my secret cartoon fetish and was now actively targeting me with clever banner advertising, in order to suck me into a mad cartoon pyramid scheme. But information about this weird fetish of mine was only available on my Facebook profile. And as everyone knows that stays private for good!
  2. Somebody with a lot of money had paid for thousands of these ads to pop up on my screen with the goal of eventually driving me insane. Once I was institutionalised they were planning to take over my Zombies vs. Aliens account and strip me of the single greatest achievement of my life.
Those were really the only logical explanations out there! Nevertheless, I tried to continue ignoring the banner. I wouldn’t give my enemies the satisfaction! Not when I was so close to getting to level 95 Zombie Ring Master. I’d managed just fine, until today, when I saw this:
You couldn’t Photoshop this if you tried!
Holy…shit! Not only was it extremely unnerving to see the same lady’s 6 pairs of eyes simultaneously, it also told me that both of my previous assumptions had been utterly wrong. It couldn’t have been Google or some rich stranger set to snatch my Zombie coins. Here’s why:
  1. Google knew that it’s entirely counter productive to display the same ad three times on the same page. Besides, they needed the revenue generated by other ads and where would they have displayed them if all the space was occupied by the creepy-eyed girl?
  2. Not even Bill Gates would want to waste the amount of money needed for this much ad space on a single page. Although Lord knows he wants that Zombie account!
So now I’m thinking…the odds of something like the above happening by pure chance are infinitely small. Kurt Cobain has better chances of leading a well adjusted life than those three banners have of appearing on the same exact page at once, and he’s been dead for years. Now that I’ve concluded that it’s not Google, or Bill Gates, or pure coincidence, I believe I finally have the answer…I have a cartoon woman stalking me!

She had seen me glance at her the very first time we met and since then she’d tried in vain to catch my attention again. The more I ignored her, the harder she tried. She wasn’t merely suggesting I should “cartoonify myself”, she was desperately imploring me to do it, so that I could join her in the little cartoon banner world. Today had been her last ditch effort to catch my attention and I’m sure if I don’t act right now I may never see her again. I must say I am tempted. It could be fun to live in a cartoon together. And I’d probably be a lot safer in a cartoon than in the real world with those crazy scheming millionaires. It’s not like anyone teleporting into a cartoon had ever been in any real danger of physical harm, right?

Oh, right…dammit!